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Full text of "Correspondence with Caroline Bowles, to which are added correspondence with Shelley, and Southey's dreams. Edited, with an introd. by Edward Dowden"

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BUT  by  the  way  (Madam)  you  may  see  how  much  I  differ  from  the  morosity 
of  those  Cynicks  who  would  not  admit  your  sex  into  the  communities  of  a 
noble  friendship.  ...  I  cannot  say  that  Women  are  capable  of  all  those 
excellencies  by  which  Men  can  oblige  the  World  ;  and  therefore  a  female  friend 
in  some  cases  is  not  so  good  a  counsellor  as  a  wise  man,  and  cannot  so  well 
defend  my  honour ;  nor  dispose  of  reliefs  and  assistances  if  she  be  in  the  power 
of  another :  but  a  woman  can  love  as  passionately,  and  converse  as  pleasantly, 
and  retain  a  secret  as  faithfully,  and  be  useful  in  her  proper  ministries  ;  and  she 
can  die  for  her  friend  as  well  as  the  bravest  Roman  Knight. 

JEREMY  TAYLOR,  in  A  Letter  to  the  most  Ingenious 
and  Excelknt  Mrs.  Katherine  Phillips. 


It  is  not  once  an  age  two  hearts  are  set 
So  well  in  unison  that  not  a  note 
Jars  in  their  music  ;  but  a  skilful  hand 
Slurs  lightly  over  the  discordant  tones, 
And  wakens  only  the  full  power  of  those 
That  sound  in  concord. 

Happy,  happy  those 
Who  thus  perform  the  grand  concerto — Life. 

CAROLINE  BOWLES,  The  Birthday,  Part  II. 

IT  was  Southey's  wish  that  his  correspondence  with  Caroline 
Bowles,  afterwards  Caroline  Southey,  at  a  fitting  time  should 
see  the  light.  "  As  for  my  letters,"  he  wrote  (December  18, 
1829),  "  I  will  deposit  them  with  yours  (for  I  have  preserved 
every  line  that  I  ever  received  from  you) .  There  is  nothing  in 
them  which  might  not  be  seen  by  men  and  angels,  and  though 
written,  as  their  utter  carelessness  and  unreserve  may  show, 
without  the  slightest  reference  to  any  other  eyes  than  those  to 
which  they  were  addressed,  I  shall  not  be  unwilling  to  think 
that  when  time  has  consecrated  both  our  memories  (which  it 
will  do)  this  correspondence  may  see  the  light.  Our  earthly 
life,  dear  Caroline,  lasts  longer  than  in  the  hearts  of  those  we 
love ;  it  endures  in  the  hearts  of  those  whom  we  have  never 
known,  and  who  learn  to  love  us  after  our  work  on  earth  is 
done.  They  who  live  on  earth  in  their  good  works  continue  to 
make  friends  there  as  long  as  their  works  survive ;  and  it  may  be 
one  of  the  pleasures  of  another  state  to  meet  those  friends  when 
they  seek  us  in  heaven.  I  often  feel  that  this  will  and  must  be 
so  when,  on  reading  a  good  old  book,  my  heart  yearns  towards 

viii  INTR  01)  UCTION. 

the  author."  And  in  a  like  spirit  is  the  answer  of  Caroline 
Bowles — "  I  shall  now  keep  those  treasured  letters  while  I  live, 
with  a  clear  conscience,  and  perhaps  you  may  have  created  in 
my  heart  a  feeling  which  before  (as  relating  to  myself)  had  no 
existence  there — a  degree  of  interest  in  something  of  me  that 
shall  survive  on  earth — I  mean  our  correspondence.  All  my 
share  in  it  will  find  indulgence  for  your  sake."  To  the  Rev. 
J.  Wood  Warter,  Southey's  son-in-law,  Caroline  Southey  left 
these  letters,  with  a  well-founded  confidence  that  in  the  hands 
of  Mr.  Warter  and  his  family  her  memory  would  be  strongly 
and  safely  guarded.  Mr.  Warter  died  before  his  purpose  of 
publishing  this  correspondence  was  carried  into  effect.  Shortly 
after  the  appearance  of  the  volume  "  Eobert  Southey,"  in 
Mr.  Morley's  "English  Men  of  Letters,"  I  requested  Miss 
Warter  to  allow  me  to  examine  the  correspondence  with  Caro- 
line Bowles,  with  a  view  to  its  possible  publication  in  the 
"  DUBLIN  UNIVERSITY  PRESS  SERIES."  She  kindly  granted  my 
request :  with  her  permission  the  present  volume  is  published, 
and  from  her  I  have  received  in  its  preparation  frequent  and 
valuable  aid. 

On  going  through  the  material  placed  at  my  disposal,  I 
perceived  that  a  selection  from  the  letters  would  appear  with 
greater  advantage  than  the  entire  correspondence.  For  two 
reasons : — first,  as  regards  Southey — so  considerable  a  body  of 
his  letters  has  already  been  put  forth  that  Southey's  life  lies 
largely  open,  and  many  things  told  in  letters  already  printed 
are  told  in  almost  the  same  words  in  some  of  his  letters  to 
Caroline  Bowles.  Secondly,  as  regards  her — in  consequence  of 
her  secluded  life,  in  which  incidents  were  rare,  and  of  those 
shattering  attacks  of  illness,  often  recurrent,  which  narrowed 
her  world  for  the  time  being  to  her  sick  chamber,  with  its 
broken  thoughts  and  memories  and  love,  not  a  few  of  her 
letters  lack  the  kind  of  interest  which  extends  to  strangers; 
yet  especially  in  her  days  of  pain  and  weakness  Southey  de- 
sired to  be  informed  of  her  state,  and  it  beguiled  the  time  to 
converse  on  paper,  when  that  was  possible,  with  her  absent 
friend.  What  is  beautiful  in  these  letters  is  her  fine  solicitude 


for  the  happiness  of  others ;  her  aloofness  from  life,  with  an 
instinctive  turning  back  towards  life,  as  of  a  plant  which  loves 
the  sun ;  those  sudden  beams  and  flashes  which  betray  a  spirit 
naturally  bright ;  and  as  recovery  advanced  her  pleasure  in  the 
delicate  luxuries  of  convalescent  senses — the  light  touch  of  a 
morning  breeze,  the  brightness  of  a  flower,  a  bird's  passage  or 
swift  song. 

Considerably  less  than  half  of  the  material  placed  in  my 
hands  now  appears  in  print.  As  I  went  along  I  had  my  eye 
on  "Southey's  Life  and  Letters,"  and  on  the  "Selection  of 
Letters"  edited  by  Mr.  Warter,  and  I  omitted  many  letters  and 
passages  of  letters  which  repeat  what  is  already  known.  But 
in  some  cases  I  have  risked  the  danger  of  repetition  :  thus  the 
letter  to  Caroline  Bowles  which  tells  of  Southey's  visit  to  the 
deathbed  of  Bell,  the  educational  reformer,  may  with  advan- 
tage displace  that  previously  published,  as  being  fuller  of 
detail ;  and  again,  the  letter  describing  his  visit  in  1836  to  the 
scenes  of  his  childhood  says  the  same  things  which  are  said  to 
Grosvenor  Bedford;  but  it  is  in  writing  to  Caroline  Bowles 
that  the  .outbreak  like  the  sob  of  a  strong  man  comes — "  There 
have  been  times,  and  are,  dear  friend,  when  I  feel  like  Eleemon, 
as  if  the  fountain  of  tears  were  dry ;  as  if  my  eyes  had  been 
seared,  and  my  heart  had  been  so  often  and  so  long  upon  the 
anvil,  that  it  had  been  rendered  insensible.  But  to-day  it  was 
with  great  difficulty  that  I  could  so  far  command  myself  as  not 
to  let  my  emotions  be  seen."  After  making  all  omissions 
which  seemed  desirable,  there  is  here  a  plentiful  remainder  to 
furnish  forth  an  interesting  chapter  in  Southey's  life — one 
essential  to  its  completeness — the  chapter  which  tells  of  the 
most  important  friendship  of  his  elder  years. 

In  an  Appendix  will  be  found  the  register  of  fantastic 
dreams  of  which  Southey  speaks  in  a  letter  to  Caroline  Bowles, 
of  October  2nd,  1826.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  Shelley  hardly 
more  than  began  his  Catalogue  of  the  Phenomena  of  Dreams,  as 
connecting  sleeping  and  waking.  "  Here,"  he  says,  "  I  was 
obliged  to  leave  off,  overcome  by  thrilling  horror."  But  for 
this  we  might  have  possessed  a  second  remarkable  contribution 


towards  the  psychology  of  poets.*  I  do  not  know  whether  any 
such  collection  of  a  poet's  dreams  as  this  of  Southey's  exists 
elsewhere.  What  is  extravagant  in  Thalaba,  what  is  grotesque 
in  the  Ballads,  is  paralleled  by  the  wild  work  which  went  on  in 
their  inventor's  brain  during  sleep.  The  moral  ardour  which 
breathes  through  his  poems,  the  passion  of  righteousness,!  the  for- 
titude of  faith,  must  be  recognised  by  every  reader  who  knows 
Southey  as  the  breath  of  his  own  higher  life.  The  romantic 
incidents  of  his  poetry  were  partly  found  by  him  as  foreign 
materials,  and  were  woven  together  by  his  constructive  talent ; 
but  they  were  partly  native  to  his  imagination,  and  given  by  it. 
The  caverns  of  the  Domdaniel,  the  Afreet  wardens,  the  Teraph 
and  the  Fire,  the  blue-eyed  Sorceress,  Khawla  and  Mohareb, 
were  not  ingeniously  pieced  together  from  Southey's  note- 
book ;  they  sprang  wildly  from  his  brain,  and  were  subdued  to 
a  moral  purpose  by  his  dominant  passion  of  righteousness.  For 
vampires  did  not  lodge  in  Greta  Hall,  and  surely  we  cannot 
attribute  Southey's  elaborated  horrors  of  phantasy  to  that  one 
tumbler  of  currant  rum,  accompanied  by  the  sedative  of  a 
sermon  from  some  elder  English  divine,  or  a  chapter  of  some 
foreign  chronicler,  which  formed  the  last  frugal  meal  for  mind 
and  body. 

*  "  The  poverty  of  my  dreams  mortifies  me.  There  is  Coleridge,  at  his 
will  can  conjure  up  icy  domes,  and  pleasure-houses  for  Kubla  Khan,  and 
Abyssinian  maids,  and  songs  of  Abora,  and  caverns, 

'  Where  Alph,  the  sacred  river,  runs,' 

to  solace  his  night  solitudes — when  I  cannot  muster  a  fiddle.  .  .  .  The 
degree  of  the  soul's  creativeness  in  sleep  might  furnish  no  whimsical 
criterion  of  the  quantum  of  poetical  faculty  resident  in  the  same  soul 
waking.  An  old  gentleman,  a  friend  of  mine,  and  a  humorist,  used  to 
carry  this  notion  so  far,  that  when  he  saw  any  stripling  of  his  acquaintance 
ambitious  of  becoming  a  poet,  his  first  question  would  be :  « Young  man, 
what  sort  of  dreams  have  you  ?  *  "— CHAKLES  LAMB,  Witches  and  other 
Night  Fears. 

t  "Full  of  soft  pity,  like  the  wailings  of  a  mother,"  says  Carlyle, 
speaking  of  Southey's  chief  poems,  and  he  rightly  adds,  "  yet  with  a  clang 
of  chivalrous  valour  finely  audible  too." 


In  the  Appendix  is  also  printed  a  short  but  remarkable 
correspondence,  hitherto  unpublished,  of  Southey  with  Shelley. 
The  first  letter — one  of  Shelley's,  and  unconnected  with  those 
which  follow — accompanied  a  copy  of  Alastor  presented  to 
Southey.  It  serves  as  a  link  between  the  period  of  Shelley's 
personal  intercourse  with  Southey  at  Keswick  (1811-1812)  and 
that  of  the  renewed  intercourse  by  letter,  eight  years  later.* 
When  setting  forth  to  evangelize  Ireland,  Shelley  beheld, 
through  the  luminous  vapour  of  his  boyish  enthusiasm,  a  dis- 
torted image  of  Southey.  f  The  real  Southey,  it  now  becomes 
apparent,  re-emerged  to  view  when  time,  experience,  and  dis- 
appointments had  taught  Shelley  to  estimate  men  more  justly. 
The  later  letters — those  of  1820 — appear  after  the  lapse  of  sixty 
years,  in  accordance  with  Southey's  view  as  to  what  might 
be  expected,  and  what  was^  right  to  expect.J  These  letters  set 
forth  the  characters  and  principles  of  two  extraordinary  men  in 
a  singularly  vivid  light.  It  is  easy  for  the  lover  of  Southey  to 
be  unjust  to  Shelley,  and  easy  for  the  lover  of  Shelley  to  mis- 
interpret Southey.  There  are  perhaps  some  persons  whose  sym- 
pathy with  man  is  wide  enough  to  include  types  of  character 
so  diverse,  and  such  persons — rejoicing  in  human  goodness, 
piteous  for  human  frailty — may  be  trusted  to  discover  what 
virtue  there  is  in  the  severe,  yet  sorrowful,  arraignment  by  the 
one  writer,  and  in  the  other's  eager  and  solemn  assertion  of  his 
innocence.  § 

*  Peacock  speaks  of  a  meeting  of  Southey  and  Shelley  in  the  autumn  of 
1814,  of  which  Shelley  gave  him  some  account.  I  suspect  that  Peacock's 
memory  misled  him.  In  a  letter  to  Bernard  Barton  (1822)  Southey  gives  a 
brief  survey  of  his  connexion  with  Shelley,  and  neither  in  it,  nor  elsewhere, 
I  believe,  makes  reference  to  any  meeting  later  than  1812.  "  By-the-bye," 
Southey  writes  to  Bernard  Barton  in  this  unpublished  letter,  "  he  [Shelley] 
was  remarkably  like  Mr.  Clarkson,  though  upon  a  small  scale.  His  eyes 
were  set  in  the  same  manner,  and  the  resemblance  between  son  and  father 
could  not  be  stronger." 

f  See  McCarthy's  Shelley's  Early  Life,  p.  136. 

|  See  p.  76  of  the  present  volume. 

§  The  central  question  at  issue  is  this  (and  perhaps  the  answer  to  it  is 
not  hard  to  find) :  "  How  far  did  the  principles  held  by  Shelley  open  a  way 


Although  many  of  Southey's  letters  have  been  printed,  no 
correspondence  has  hitherto  appeared  having  a  unity  of  its  own, 
and  exhibiting  his  thoughts  and  feelings  in  their  play  and  in- 
terchange with  those  of  another  mind.  To  none  of  his  friends 
could  he  give  so  much  as  he  gave  to  Caroline  Bowles,  and  in 
friendship  surely  it  must  be  more  blessed  to  give  than  to  re- 
ceive. But  he  also  received  much.  Not  that  elevating  guid- 
ance into  new  realms  of  thought,  that  discovery  of  higher 
spheres  of  feeling  which  in  some  rare  instances  has  been  the 
gift  of  a  woman  to  a  man — 

"  Alcun  tempo  il  sostenni  col  mio  volto  ; 
Mostrando  gli  ocelli  giovinetti  a  lui, 
Meco  il  menava  in  dritta  parte  volto" ; 

not  that  hardy  comradeship  founded  upon  equality,  which  is 
perhaps  as  rare.  These  it  was  not  in  the  power  of  Southey's 
friend  to  bestow.  But  what  she  had  she  gave,  and  that  was 
much — the  answer  of  the  spirit  to  every  summons  and  challenge 
of  his  spirit,  the  assent  and  consent  of  a  kindred  mind,  the 
quick  perceptions  of  a  bright  and  cultivated  intelligence,  the 
charm  of  graceful  animation  with  that  repose  which  the  security 
of  unvarying  affection  brings.  She  came  to  him  as  a  friend  in 
darkening  days,  after  the  death  of  his  beloved  son,  and  when  he 
had  begun  to  step  downward  from  the  heights  of  life.  During 
the  long  insidious  approaches  of  Mrs.  Southey's  malady  there 
was  sustenance  for  a  heart  often  exhausted  by  anxiety  in  his 
friend's  sympathy :  among  many  difficult  and  perplexing  things 
here  was  one  thing  without  difficulties,  and  always  sure.  And 
when  the  true  nature  of  his  wife's  malady  declared  itself,  and 
the  light  of  Southey's  life  was  extinguished,  in  communion  with 
a  friend  there  was  a  refuge  from  calamity  better  than  the  des- 

for  conduct  which  led,  directly  or  indirectly,  to  the  ruin  of  one  whom 
Shelley  was  bound  to  protect  from  others  and  from  herself?"  Southey 
certainly  erred  in  supposing  that  Shelley's  character  had  deteriorated  since 
1812 ;  but  knowing  as  much  and  as  little  as  he  did,  Southey's  error  was 
inevitable.  The  first  letter  (March  7th,  1816)  is  printed  from  what  I  take 
to  be  the  original  in  Shelley's  handwriting ;  the  rest  from  transcripts  made 
by  Caroline  Bowles. 


perate  refuge  of  work,  or  the  half  shelter  of  uneasy  slumbers. 
There  have  not  been  so  many  recorded  friendships  of  man  arid 
woman,  the  source  of  mutual  comfort,  honourable,  constant  and 
untroubled  through  a  course  of  many  years,  that  we  can  afford 
to  forget  the  friendship  of  Southey  and  Caroline  Bowles. 

In  these  quick  and  crowded  days,  it  is  perhaps  unreasonable 
to  expect  that  many  persons  will  find  interest  in  the  days  and 
hours  of  a  quiet  life  spent  a  long  time  ago  among  flowers  and 
birds  and  books.  And  yet  there  is  pleasure  in  contemplating 
a  modest  precinct  of  order  where  a  refined  and  cheerful  exist- 
ence grows  from  elements  few  and  simple.  As  a  writer,  Caroline 
Bowles  once  held  a  place  of  some  distinction,  and  she  is  still 
worthy  of  remembrance.  Much  that  she  wrote  must  drift  away 
to  give  place  to  contemporary  writings,  equally  good,  if  not 
better,  and  claiming  the  dues  of  novelty ;  but  her  best  work, 
small  in  quantity,  may  rank  with  the  best  of  its  kind  that 
English  women  have  wrought  in  English  verse. 

Caroline  Anne  Bowles  was  born  at  Lymington,  Hampshire, 
on  December  6th,  1786  or  1787 ;  in  which  of  these  two  years 
she  was  herself  uncertain.  Her  father's,  an  old  Lincolnshire, 
family,  is  said  to  have  been  originally  Norman.*  Through  her 
maternal  grandmother,  Mrs.  George  Burrard  (born  Durell), 
she  was  connected  with  the  French-speaking  aristocracy  of 
Jersey,  and  there  were  traditions  of  their  ancient  manor  in  all 
its  feudal  greatness.  In  the  home  of  Caroline's  childhood 
might  be  seen  representatives  of  four  generations — stately  old 
Madame  Durell,  her  grandmother's  mother ;  grandmother  Bur- 
rard, now  sixty  years  of  age,  with  silver  hair,  apple  cheek,  un- 
wrinkled  forehead,  and  soft  blue  eye,  gracious,  gentle,  and  be- 
lovedf  ;  Caroline's  mother  rich  in  old  tales,  and  family  legends 

*  The  poet  W.  Lisle  Bowles  claimed  Caroline  as  one  of  his  kin,  but  the 
kinship  was  only  one  pleasantly  fancied  on  the  ground  of  the  identity  of 
names.  In  one  letter,  she  speaks  of  Lord  Herbert  of  Cherbury  as  her 

t  In  The  Birthday  Caroline  Bowles  describes  her  grandmother,  as  her 
nurse  remembered,  "  among  her  maidens  throned  at  the  eternal  tapestry." 
"  Madame  Burrard,  as  she  grew  old,  used  to  be  carried  from  the  porch  at 


and  traditionary  lore  ;  and  the  little  fairy  girl  herself,  the  new- 
born future  emerging  from  so  long  a  past,  bringing  into  the 
midst  of  so  many  twilight  lives  the  breeze  and  gladness  of  a 
dawn.  From  this  group  the  faithful  bonne  must  not  be  ex- 
cluded, more  friend  than  servant,  wearing  still  her  "  high  Jersey 
cap,  and  large  ear-rings  and  short  jacket,"  who  every  6th  of 
December,  in  spite  of  frost  or  snow,  must  find  a  birthday  nose- 
gay for  her  child,  and  who,  last  of  the  elder  race,  died  at  a  good 
old  age  in  Caroline's  arms. 

Captain  Bowles  of  the  East  India  Company's  service  bought 
Buckland  Cottage,  "  an  old-fashioned,  small  house  with  great 
elms  partly  overshadowing  its  trim  gardens  and  mossy  lawns," 
while  Caroline  was  still  a  little  girl,  and  all  her  memories  of 
joy  and  sorrow  centred  in  that  beloved  home.  An  only  child, 
and  with  no  companionship  but  that  of  her  elders,  she  was  in 
some  ways  in  advance  of  her  years,  while  she  remained  at  heart 
an  unfledged  thing.  Her  deft  fingers,  with  skill  inherited  from 
old  Madame  Burrard,  worked  devices  on  the  sampler,  or  fashioned 
raiment  for  her  family  of  dolls ;  they  drew  what  to  complacent 
parental  eyes  seemed  genuine  landscapes ;  they  cut  in  paper  all 
Noah's  menagerie  from  models  in  Goldsmith's  Animated  Nature, 
or  the  paladins  and  ladies  of  Ariosto — nay,  on  one  occasion 
even  "Ulysses 

"  Locked  in  the  shaggy  fleeces  of  the  ram." 

Books  were  her  playfellows,  and  before  her  father  had  gone 
far  in  her  writing  lessons,  he  was  constrained — not  needing 
strict  compulsion — to  become  amanuensis  to  the  small  poetess 

Buckland  Cottage  in  a  sedan  chair  to  her  pew  in  church.  There,  I  am 
afraid,  she  bowed  and  curtsied  to  her  friends  before  the  service  began  ;  but 
I  am  sure  that  she  stood  up  in  her  little  high-heeled  shoes  of  black  velvet, 
with  silver  buckles,  and  that  a  diamond  crescent  sparkled  just  in  front  of 
her  powdered  hair,  which  was  drawn  up  on  a  cushion  under  a  lace  cap  and 
hood.  The  rest  of  her  dress  was  invariably  black ;  but  she  also  wore  the 
lace  muffles,  neck-kerchief  and  apron  that  had  been  in  fashion  when  she 
was  exactly  like  what  her  little  grand-daughter  afterwards  became."— 
"  Robert  Southey's  Second  Wife,"  in  the  Cornhitt  Magazine,  vol.  xxx. 


between  his  knees,  who  dictated  such  rhapsodies  as  those  which 
a  little  later  she  would  herself  confide  to  the  blank  pages  of 
drawing-books  and  receipt-books.  Alone  in  her  swing,  when 
the  pendulous  motion  had  settled  to  stillness,  she  created  in 
waking  dream  Eastern  palaces,  where  Mesrour  and  Giaffer 
stepped  behind  the  Commander  of  the  Faithful  with  Zobeide 
at  his  side.  All  living  creatures  grew  dear  to  her — all,  except 
the  parrot,  whose  diligence  in  learning  had  been  odiously  con- 
trasted with  her  idleness;  she  fed  with  cream  and  sugar  the 
Princess  Hemjunah,  a  monstrous  toad  who  lodged  under  the 
old  gum-cistus ;  when  Chloe's  blind  puppies  needed  an  airing, 
her  wheelbarrow  became  their  barouche  ;  in  her  hospital — a 
young  Sister  of  Mercy — she  nursed  the  maimed  squirrel,  the 
one-legged  bullfinch,  and  that  wounded  leveret  who  grew  up 
an  ungrateful  hare,  and  fled  away.  Dearest  of  all  were  her 
spaniel,  and  Juba  her  "  little  horse,"  who  fed  from  the  tiny 
hand  of  his  mistress,  a  child  half-tomboy  and  half-sprite.  In  a 
nook  of  the  rambling  garden  her  religion  had  its  secret  rites ; 
there  a  mossy  altar  was  erected  (G-essner's  Death  of  Abel  lending 
inspiration),  where  with  piety,  a  little  haunted  by  self-doubt, 
she  played  the  natural  priest,  and  offered  up  bloodless  sacrifice' 
of  flowers  and  fruits. 

Captain  Bowles,  with  a  forefeeling  of  the  nervous  disease 
which  left  Caroline  at  an  early  age  an  orphan,  was  a  sad  and 
silent  man ;  yet  in  his  sadness  ever  gentle  to  the  little  daughter, 
who  knew  how  to  hold  her  peace,  and  only  steal  her  hand  into 
his,  when  the  dark  hour  was  on  him.  Angling  was  his  patient 
pleasure  ;  and  on  many  a  summer  day,  from  early  morning  till 
late  evening,  Caroline  was  his  companion  along  the  banks  of 
Roy  den  stream.  Under  its  rustic  bridge,  in  a  small  cave  her 
basket,  stored  with  wholesome  home-made  viands,  would  lie  ;  at 
noon  came  the  delight  of  a  sylvan  feast ;  and  when  platter  and 
ilask  and  cup  were  safely  packed,  Caroline  would  draw  from  the 
fisher's  pouch  an  old  russet- covered  book,  her  father's  copy  of 
Izaak  Walton,  and  there  in  a  ferny  grotto,  half  circled  by  vast 
oak-roots,  the  river  rippling  below,  the  sunshine  filtering  from 
above,  she  would  sit  "  like  hare  upgathered  in  her  form,"  be- 


come  the  scholar  of  Piscator,  con  those  scraps  of  divine  Du 
Bartas,  and  Kit  Marlowe,  and  holy  Master  Herbert,  or  listen 
well-pleased  to  the  ballad  sweetly  sung  by  hone%  Maudlin. 

Another  spot  where  quietude  and  delight  had  meeting  was 
Mr.  Gilpin's  study.  His  "  Essay  on  Prints  "  and  his  studies  of 
picturesque  landscape  in  various  parts  of  England  keep  that 
good  man's  memory  alive.  Rector  of  Boldre,  on  the  borders  of 
the  New  Forest,  and  now  in  benign  old  age,  he  united  the  charac- 
ters (not  always  conjoined)  of  saint  and  artist.  To  be  allowed 
the  three-miles'  walk  which  ended  with  the  rose-clad  rectory 
was  Caroline's  delight.  There  the  white-haired  hostess  would 
give  her  greeting,  would  divest  her  of  hat  and  tippet,  cool  her 
forehead  with  a  sovereign  wash  of  elder  water,  and  prescribe 
sitting  "  quite  still  "  until  tea- time.  But  the  wistful  eyes  which 
settled  on  the  study  door  would  betray  the  little  visitor's  im- 
patience, and  on  leave  given  to  ask  admittance  she  would  dart 
off,  all  weariness  departed  : 

"  Blithe  as  a  bird,  thus  freed,  away  I  flew, 
And  in  three  seconds  at  the  well-known  door 
Tapped  gently  ;  and  a  gentle  voice  within 
Asking  "  Who's  there  ?  "   "  It's  me  "  I  answered  low, 
Grammatically  clear.     "  Let  me  come  in  " 
The  gentle  voice  rejoined ;  and  in  I  stole, 
Bashfully  silent,  as  the  good  man's  smile 
And  hand  extended  drew  me  to  his  chair." 

When — bashfulness  being  lost  in  content  while  the  old  collector 
displayed  some  chosen  treasures — the  small  tongue  would  trot, 
nimble  in  a  critic's  censure  or  delight,  to  which  William  Grilpin 
would  respond  with  mild  vindication  or  instructive  word  of 

The  death  of  Caroline's  great-grandmother,  grandmother 
and  father,  left  Mrs.  Bowles  alone  with  her  little  daughter  and 
her  faithful  bonne.  Caroline  Bowles  had  early  knowledge  of 
death,  but  her  spirits  were  those  of  youth,  her  disposition  was 
naturally  bright,  and  her  girlhood  had  its  fitting  opportunities 
of  mirth.  At  Lymington,  during  the  war  with  France,  there 
was  at  one  time  an  encampment  of  French  Royalists,  at  another 
an  assemblage  of  English  or  foreign  troops.  Caroline  Bowles, 


half  French  by  her  traditions,  and  connected  with  the  army 
through  her  uncle,  afterwards  Lieutenant- General  Sir  Harry 
Burrard,  had  no  lack  of  invitations,  and  was  not  proof  against 
the  charms  of  the  Lymington  military  balls.  We  are  assured  that 
she  had  many  admirers,  and  that  her  youth  endured  its  joy  and 
sorrow  of  the  heart :  "  She  did  indeed  return  the  attachment  of 
one  in  every  respect  worthy  of  her ;  but  it  was  at  last  decided 
by  the  family  conclave  that  her  engagement  should  be  broken 
off.  .  .  .  She  submitted  her  own  judgment  to  that  of  her 
relations."  * 

Early  youth  went  by,  and  Caroline  Bowles  continued  to 
reside  at  Buckland,  drawing  closer,  if  that  was  possible,  to  her 
one  inseparable  companion,  her  mother.  In  1816,  death  came 
once  again,  unexpectedly ;  and  this  time  it  left  Caroline  really 
desolate,  "connected  with  the  world  by  no  filial  or  fraternal 
tie  " ;  she  was  motherless  and  alone.  Only  her  faithful  nurse 
remained,  and  the  beloved  dwelling-place  inhabited  by  so  many 
memories.  A  year  later,  and  the  loss  of  her  home  seemed  im- 
minent, consequent  upon  the  loss  of  her  fortune  through  a 
guardian's  unfaithful  conduct.  She  clung  to  a  place  which 
affection  made  so  dear,  and  now  bethought  her  of  the  manu- 
script of  a  metrical  tale  which  she  had  written,  and  for  which  a 
publisher  might  give  a  price.  Herself  in  seclusion,  away  from 
the  world  of  letters  and  of  trade,  she  remembered  how  Southey 
had  once  found  his  pleasure  in  the  generous  exercise  of  power 
on  behalf  of  Kirke  White ;  and  taking  courage,  she  forwarded 
her  manuscript,  introducing  it  with  the  first  letter  of  the  present 
Correspondence.  It  will  be  seen  how  prompt  and  kind  was 
Southey's  response,  and  how  the  growing  fears  of  her  suspense 
turned  into  a  glow  of  grateful  happiness  and  wonder.  Her 
poem,  indeed,  did  not  at  once  find  a  publisher ;  but  she  herself 
had  found  the  friend  of  her  life. 

A  return,  with  added  interest,  of  her  father's  goodness,  now 

*  "  Robert  Southey's  Second  Wife,"  in  the  Cornhill  Magazine.  To  this 
article,  written  by  one  who  was  acquainted  with  Caroline  Southey,  I  am 
indebted  for  a  good  deal  of  information.  Its  statements,  however,  are  not 
all  trustworthy. 



made  to  his  child,  saved  her  from  the  threatening  exile.  "  You 
may  remember,"  she  writes  to  Southey  at  a  later  time  (Nov.  11, 
1832),  when  again  perplexities  seemed  gathering  round  her, 
"  that  when  (in  happy  hour)  I  introduced  myself  to  you,  I 
was  then  in  expectation  of  being  compelled  to  give  up  my 
home,  from  pecuniary  distress,  the  consequence  of  my  guardian's 
fraudulent  bankruptcy,  from  which  only  a  little  pittance  was 
saved  from  the  wreck.  All  on  a  sudden,  as  if  from  another 
world,  started  out  to  my  assistance  my  father's  adopted  son, 
Mr.  Bruce,  then  resident  at  Bushire,  flourishing  in  splendid 
affluence.  I  think  you  know  that  in  consequence  of  his 
vehement  persuasions  I  remained  on  in  this  place,  giving  up 
those  more  prudent  and  then  feasible  plans  which  were  already 
begun  upon,  and  that  to  enable  me  to  do  so,  he  gave  me  an 
annuity  of  £150  a-year,  a  very  small  part  of  what  he  would 
have  obliged  me  to  accept  had  I  wanted  principle  and  delicacy 
so  much  as  to  accept  more  than  was  barely  sufficient  to  enable 
me  to  live  here  with  respectability."  It  was  not  only  a  part  of 
his  fortune  which  Captain  Bruce  desired  to  make  over  upon  his 
sister  by  adoption ;  she  tells  Southey,  with  an  amused  smile  at 
her  Eastern  friend's  zeal  on  her  behalf,  of  other  treasures  in- 
tended for  her  :  "  Think  how  I  was  like  to  have  been  mounted  ! 
You  know  I  always  told  you  I  lived  in  fear  of  Captain  Bruce's 
sending  me  over  an  elephant,  or  a  dromedary,  or  a  great  adjutant, 
or  some  such  gigantic  beast  or  bird  from  his  Eastern  land.  Well, 
some  friends  of  his  and  mine  are  just  come  from  Calcutta,  and  by 
them  and  in  the  same  ship  he  had  actually  intended  to  send  me 
a  present  of  '  a  splendid  white  ass  of  the  desert  breed,  whose 
feet  are  as  swift  as  the  whirlwind,  and  whose  bray  may  be  heard 
three  miles  off '  !  !  Think  of  his  writing  thus  to  me,  all  in  sober 
seriousness,  adding  how  disappointed  he  was  that  the  captain 
could  not  take  the  freight.  *  How  you  would  have  flown  about 
the  country  upon  him,'  he  adds  ;  *  he  was  of  the  true  breed  ridden 
by  the  sons  of  the  Prophet ;  my  friend  the  Scheriff  of  Mecca 
sent  him  to  me.  But  never  mind !  I  have  sent  for  a  female 
out  of  Egypt,  and  then  I  shall  have  a  breed  and  will  send  you 
the  first  foal.'  Is  not  this  friend  of  mine  a  comical  person  ? 


At  one  time  he  was  going  to  consign  a  freight  of  fine  young 
Persians  to  me ;  at  another  a  frightful  old  colonel  with  half^a 
liver,  a  daffodil  face,  and  an  emerald  ring  as  big  as  half-a-crown 
on  his  little  finger  (I  know  the  sort  well).  There  is  no  calcu- 
lating where  his  vagaries  will  end." 

So,  thanks  to  this  brotherly  friend,  Buckland  remained  her 
home ;  there  she  passed  her  days  among  her  books  and  draw- 
ings, and  flowers,  with  visits  (often  as  sick-nurse)  to  the  houses 
of  neighbours,  and  in  particular  to  Calshot  Castle,  the  old 
watch-tower  of  the  Solent,  of  which  Sir  Harry  Burrard  was 
now  governor.  From  the  reputation  of  an  authoress  she  shrank, 
until  it  could  no  longer  be  escaped ;  and  her  first  poem,  declined 
by  Murray,  but  accepted  by  Longman,  appeared  anonymously. 
Ellen  Fitzarthur  is  a  metrical  tale  in  the  varying  verse  which 
Scott  had  made  popular.  It  is  no  tale  of  adventure.  Of  ex- 
treme simplicity  in  its  action,  it  depends,  for  awakening  interest, 
on  the  truth  and  tenderness  in  its  portrayal  of  the  domestic 
affections  and  the  pain  of  an  injured  heart.  A  youthful  sailor 
is  brought,  hardly  living,  from  the  sea  to  the  pastor's  house  ;  he 
wins  the  only  daughter's  love ;  compels  her  by  a  force  which 
her  heart  cannot  resist  to  leave  her  home  ;  and  when  with  her 
babe  the  poor  deserted  wife  drags  back  her  weary  limbs,  it  is 
to  find  her  father's  house  ominously  dark  and  silent.  She  fears 
the  worst,  and  to  solve  her  doubts  will  search  in  the  moon- 
light her  mother's  tombstone,  and  see  if  the  space  beneath  her 
mother's  name  is  vacant  still.  Under  the  blown  lime-tree 
boughs  the  light  is  faint  and  wavering ;  for  a  moment  she 
presses  a  trembling  hand  over  her  eyes, 

"As  if  to  gain, 
'Twixt  her  and  fate,  a  respite  short  and  vain" ; 

then  gazes  and  discovers,  while  her  cry  of  despair  rings  through 
the  night,  that  another  name  is  there. 

During  the  first  five  years  the  interchange  of  letters  between 
Caroline  Bowles  and  Southey  was  irregular  and  infrequent.  In 
June,  1820,  they  met  in  London  face  to  face  for  the  first 
time.  All  that  Caroline  Bowles  meant  and  wished  to  say 




vanished  clean  out  of  her  head  in  the  Laureate's  presence,  and 
before  she  regained  possession  of  her  true  self  the  much-desired 
interview  was  over.  Her  second  volume  of  verse,  The  Widow1  s 
Tale,  and  other  Poems,  published  in  1822,  confirmed  her  in  the 
place  which  she  already  occupied  as  a  writer,  in  Southey's 
esteem.  It  exhibits  a  marked  advance  upon  Ellen  Fitzartliur. 
The  principal  piece  is  again  a  simple  story,  told  in  graceful 
verse,  and  rich  only  in  the  wealth  of  natural  feeling  which  it 
attempts  to  interpret.  A  youth  borne  away  by  the  press-gang 
from  his  bride  returns,  after  many  years,  to  find  his  wife  dead, 
and  his  mother,  a  blind  old  woman,  tenant  of  a  mountain 
cottage,  cared  for  by  a  little  gold-haired  damsel,  who  is  his  own 
daughter.  Among  the  lesser  poems  is  one,  unduly  prolonged, 
which,  in  its  earlier  part,  catches  the  very  spirit  of  a  soft  grey 
April  day,  when  the  clouds  hang  low,  and  the  branches  drip, 
and  the  earth  is  fragrant,  and  every  bud  is  swelling  ;  a  day  on 
which  the  sun,  before  setting,  breaks  out  with  amber  radiance, 
and  the  blackbird  sings  in  the  delaying  twilight.  In  William 
and  Jean,  a  pathetic  story  of  parting  and  love  and  death  is 
preluded  with  a  bright  sketch  of  country  folk  returning  from 
Sunday  evening  service,  thoroughly  English  in  character,  and 
with  touches  of  that  humour  which  enlivens  some  of  Caroline 
Bowles's  prose  writings.  The  volume  contains  also  two  dramatic 
sketches,  one  passionate  and  tragic,  the  other  tender  and  plain- 
tive ;  and  it  is  much  to  say  that  neither  of  these  wholly  fails  of 
its  intention. 

In  the  autumn  of  1823,  Caroline  Bowles  visited  Keswick, 
and  made  acquaintance  with  Southey  in  his  own  home.  It  was 
a  delightful  time,  and  left  a  store  of  happy  memories  for  the 
winter  days  at  Buckland.  After  this  visit,  letters  pass  quickly 
to  and  fro  ;  and  a  little  later,  Southey  proposed  that  intellectual 
union  of  which  a  poem,  written  in  common  by  K.  S.  and  C.  A.  B., 
was  to  be  the  fruit.  We  can,  I  think,  see  how  it  came  about. 
At  Kirkby  Lonsdale,  one  wet  forenoon,  while  the  ladies  of  his 
party  are  engaged  with  their  knitting,  Southey  takes  out  the 
memoranda  for  his  projected  poem,  Robin  Hood,  preparing  at 
the  same  time  to  write  to  Caroline  Bowles,  He  is  journeying 


to  Coleorton,  the  seat  of  Sir  Greorge  Beaumont,  a  representative 
of  the  family  of  Beaumont  the  dramatist.  Suddenly  it  occurs 
to  him  that  he  and  his  correspondent  might  unite  their  powers 
of  imagination  as  Beaumont  and  Fletcher  had  done  long  since ; 
and  forthwith  he  writes  off  the  letter  numbered  XXII.  in  the 
present  selection. 

What  followed  shall  be  told  in  the  words  of  Caroline  Bowles  : 
"  I  read  this  letter  with  conflicting  emotions.  The  proposal 
was  most  tempting,  but  a  sense  of  incapacity  withheld  the 
free  and  full  assent  to  it  with  which  I  should  otherwise  have 

"I  dared  not  say  yes,  and  I  could  not  find  in  my  heart  to  say 
no.  So  the  memoranda  arrived  and  the  rough  sketch  followed, 
and  in  no  long  time  came  the  writer.  Full  of  his  project,  full 
of  kindness,  of  energy,  of  hope,  he  did  his  utmost  to  encourage 
and  inspirit  me  ;  and  his  hopeful  spirit  was  at  least  contagious 
for  the  time  being,  if  not  altogether  convincing. 

"We  talked  over  Robin  Hood  by  my  quiet  fireside,  sug- 
gesting, objecting,  altering,  disputing  (it  was  pleasant  to  dis- 
pute) ;  and  when  we  came  to  the  question  of  versification,  the 
metre  of  Thalaba  (for  which,  in  an  evil  hour,  I  had  declared 
my  preference)  was  selected  on  that  account,  despite  my  plea 
that  to  admire  and  to  achieve  were  two  very  different  things, 
and  that  I  was  sure  I  should  never  succeed  in  it.  My  protest 
against  having  anything  to  do  with  *  battle  scenes  and  such 
like '  was  more  readily  admitted,  and  *  the  women,  children 
and  forest'  were  assigned  to  my  management. 

"So  we  parted,  with  a  promise  on  my  part  to  do  my 

Two  causes  hindered  the  progress  of  the  poem — Southey's 
incessant  occupation  with  work,  needful  to  supply  bread  to  his 
household,  and  the  real  inability  of  his  coadjutor  to  master  the 
Thalaba  verse.  Gradually  their  first  hopes  faded,  but  the  de- 
sign was  never  wholly  forgotten.  Then  came  that  sorrowful 
period  when  Southey's  elasticity  of  mind  was  at  length  sub- 

*  Preface  to  Rolrin  Hood,  which  see  also  for  what  follows. 

xxii  INTR  OD  UCTION. 

dued,  and  the  day's  labour  became  a  refuge  from  the  day's 
distress.  At  last  the  cloud  seemed  to  lift  a  little ;  at  eventime 
there  was  light ;  old  pleasurable  projects  revived  ;  "Robin  Hood 
was  shortly  to  be  taken  in  hand  in  good  earnest."  Alas,  that 
night  was  gathering  to  which  the  only  dawn  was  death.  The 
fragment  of  Robin  Hood  was  published  by  the  survivor  four 
years  after  her  husband's  release  from  earthly  life.  Offspring 
of  such  joyous  energy,  the  poem  is  piteous,  like  an  untimely 
birth  that  may  not  see  the  sun.  Three  lines  of  it  live  in  my 
memory,  as  the  undesigned  record,  brief  yet  sufficient,  of 
Southey's  sorrow  for  his  beloved  Herbert : — 

"  He  with  a  virile  effort,  self-controlled, 
Closed  like  a  miser's  treasure  in  his  heart 
That  grief  of  griefs." 

Such  force  put  upon  oneself  wears  the  heart,  and  makes 
ready  the  brain  for  coming  calamity. 

That  visit  to  Buckland,  with  Robin  Hood  to  plan  and  dispute 
over,  was  the  first  of  several  which  Southey  paid  during  his 
summer  and  autumn  wanderings.  In  no  other  spot  outside  his 
own  study  could  he  carry  on  his  literary  work  as  he  could  in 
the  quiet  sitting-room  of  Buckland.  His  hostess  was  faithful, 
and  would  not  exhibit  him  as  her  lion.  Only  once  for  an  old 
and  dear  relative  did  she  open  the  door  while  Southey  was 
writing.  "  When  you  had  shown  my  mane  and  my  tail,"  ex- 
claimed her  guest,  "  you  might  as  well  have  let  me  roar."  As 
soon  as  the  pages  for  the  Quarterly  Review  or  for  Longman 
were  finished,  the  Shetland  pony  would  be  brought  to  the  door, 
and  Southey,  of  stature  fit  to  converse  on  equal  terms  with  a 
little  lady  on  a  little  steed,  would  stride  along  by  Oberon's 
side.  The  shaggy  pony  had  for  companion  a  shaggy  dog  of 
about  his  own  size.  "  Tell  Cuthbert,"  his  mistress  writes,  "  my 
dog  is  quite  big  enough  for  him  to  ride ;  measures  two  yards 
and  a-quarter  from  the  tip  of  his  nose  to  the  end  of  his  tail,  and 
every  now  and  then  walks  away  by  mistake  with  the  tea-table 
upon  his  back.  He  is  like  a  great  white  lion,  curled  all  over, 
with  black  nose  and  ears." 

INTR  OD  UCTION.  xxiii 

These  visits  to  Southey  were  to  Caroline  Bowles  the  heart 
and  kernel  of  the  year.  Although  naturally  hright  of  temper^ 
with  some  sprightly  malice  and  no  real  unkindness  of  disposi- 
tion, her  frequent  ill-health,  attended  by  much  suffering,  caused 
her  spirits  to  fluctuate,  and  in  her  solitude  there  was  a  danger 
that  no  glad  chance  would  come  to  lift  her  out  of  the  depths. 
It  is  impossible  to  estimate  how  much  she  gained  of  hope  and 
vigour  from  Southey's  personal  presence  and  from  his  kind  and 
constant  communication  by  the  pen.  Without  him  her  life 
would  have  narrowed  and  dwindled  and  grown  grey.  With 
him  for  her  friend,  the  world  always  owned  one  thing  which 
made  life  a  valuable  possession. 

When,  after  change  and  grievous  loss  in  his  home,  Southey 
set  himself  to  apply  the  remains  of  life  to  worthy  ends — for 
great  works  lay  still  before  him — The  History  of  Portugal,  The 
History  of  the  Monastic  Orders,  and  The  History  of  English 
Literature — when  he  dared  to  look  forward  to  a  quiet  eventide 
of  toil,  he  found  that  his  friend  of  twenty  years,  whose  age 
approached  his  own,  and  whose  sympathy  with  his  thoughts 
and  strivings  was  constantly  and  instinctively  right,  would  be 
the  truest  and  most  helpful  companion  for  the  close  of  life. 
Making  no  breach  with  the  past,  he  might  draw  the  bonds  of 
their  friendship  tighter ;  he  might  perfect  that  friendship  in 
the  dearest  way  of  all.  When  Caroline  Bowles  answered  yes 
to  Southey's  request  that  she  would  become  his  wife,  whether 
she  anticipated  declining  years  of  peace,  or  (as  some  declare) 
saw  the  impending  doom  and  gave  herself  up  a  willing  sacrifice 
to  love,  she  at  least  knew  that  Southey  deemed  her  essential  to 
his  well-being.  And,  doubtless,  if  the  anguish  was  great,  the 
reward  was  great  to  be  near  him,  and  let  him  feel,  however 
gropingly,  that  she  was  near  in  that  dim  antechamber  to  the 
tomb.  We  are  told  that  while  consciousness  survived,  her 
presence  was  a  pleasure  to  him,  and  that  his  dulled  eye  would 
gleam  with  a  moment's  glad  intelligence  at  her  name.  "  Saint 
and  martyr "  are  the  titles  which  Walter  Savage  Landor  as- 
signs to  Caroline  Southey. 

After  her  husband's  death,  in  1843,  Mrs.  Southey  returned 

xxiv  INTR  OD  UCTION. 

to  the  home  of  her  childhood.  Life  was  over,  as  far  as  she  was 
personally  concerned.  "  Her  old  gaiety  was  gone,  and  she  shrank 
from  any  new  literary  exertion."*  In  Southey 's  daughter, 
Edith  May  Warter,  and  her  hushand  she  found  loyal  friends  of 
her  old  age.  Of  Caroline  Southey,  they  always  spoke  "  as  one 
of  the  hest  and  truest  women  that  ever  lived." t  Through  the 
exertions  of  her  hushand's  brother,  Dr.  Southey,  a  pension  of 
£200  a-year  was  granted  to  her  hy  the  Queen  in  1852,  but  it 
came  almost  too  late.  Caroline  Southey  died  on  July  20th, 
1854.  Lymington  churchyard  is  the  place  of  her  rest. 

A  writer  in  the  Cornhill  Magazine,  who  was  acquainted  with 
Mrs.  Southey,  describes  her  in  a  way  which  would  have  sur- 
prised some  of  her  readers,  yet  which  is  certainly  correct.  The 
publishers  insisted,  as  she  complained,  that  she  must  appear  in 
her  books  as  "  a  Niobe,  all  tears,"  and  stir  the  springs  of  pity, 
not  of  mirth.  I  am  inclined  to  think  the  publishers  were  right ; 
that  when  she  bent  her  mind  to  strenuous  work,  her  imagina- 
tion could  not  choose  but  deal  with  the  piteous  facts  of  life ;  but 
on  the  surface  of  her  mind  were  a  gleam  and  ripple  of  bright 
womanly  mirth.  "  Besides  being  agreeable  herself,"  writes  the 
Cornhill  contributor,  "  she  had  the  rare  talent  of  making  every- 
one she  wished  to  please  feel  agreeable  too ;  and  rather  surprised 
her  visitors  now  and  then,  not  with  her  own  talents,  but  with 
those  they  appeared  to  be  gifted  with  in  her  society.  It  is  still 
only  fair  to  add,  that  her  strong  sense  of  the  ridiculous,  and 
her  utter  absence  of  sentimentality,  disappointed  comparative 
strangers,  who  expected  something  pathetic  from  the  writer  of 
so  many  touching  poems.  .  .  .  No  one  more  readily  caught  a 
friend's  idea ;  but  it  was  quite  a  chance  whether  she  would 
hold  it  up  in  a  comical  light,  or  with  a  variety  of  new  shades 
added  to  it,  that  came  from  her  own  fancy." 

The  portrait  of  Caroline  Bowles  which  appears  in  this 
volume  is  photographed  from  a  crayon  drawing  by  herself, 

*  "  She  paid  at  least  one  visit  to  London  to  see  the  beautiful  recumbent 
statue  of  Southey"  which  lies  in  Crosthwaite  Church. 

f  See  a  letter  of  the  Rev.  Edmund  Tew  in  Notes  and  Queries,  April  9> 


made  for  Southey  in  1833,  and  spoken  of  in  the  letters  num- 
bered CLVL  and  CLYII.  "  It  is  a  delightful  picture,"  writes 
South ey,  "as  well  as  a  very  good  likeness."  This  portrait 
occupied  a  place  in  the  parlour  of  Greta  Hall  opposite  to 
Southey's  seat  at  the  tea-table,  where  also  he  would  sit,  with  a 
folio  before  him,  for  an  hour  after  supper.  The  likeness  in  the 
upper  part  of  the  face  to  Southey  himself,  noticed  by  Henry 
Taylor,  was  also  observed  by  Mr.  Lough,  the  sculptor  of 
Southey's  recumbent  figure  in  Crosthwaite  Church. 

By  the  publication  of  The  Widow's  Tale,  in  1822,  Caroline 
Bowles  had  acquired  some  popularity  as  a  writer,  and  Black- 
wood  encouraged  her  to  put  together  a  number  of  miscellaneous 
poems  in  prose  and  verse :  Southey  supplied  a  title  for  the  little 
volume — Solitary  Hours.  It  pleased  her 'publisher,  and  pleased 
the  public;  two  or  three  of  its  pieces  of  lyrical  musing  still 
survive,  but  it  is  inferior  in  value  to  the  volume  which  went 
immediately  before.  Solitary  Hours,  however,  proved  that  its 
author  could  write  prose.  Blackivood'' s  Magazine  and  the  An- 
nuals, then  coming  into  fashion,  were  open  to  her  contributions, 
and  in  Blackwood  first  appeared  her  Chapters  on  Churchyards, 
afterwards  (1829)  published  separately.  The  sketches  of  Eng- 
lish rustic  life  in  these  Chapters  are  both  bright  and  tender ; 
and  one  tale,  of  conspicuously  higher  merit  than  the  rest, 
Andrew  Cleaves,  exhibits  genuine  tragic  power.  Andrew  is  the 
hard-tempered,  close-fisted,  narrow-brained,  respectable  small 
farmer,  who  in  prudent  years  weds  a  thrifty  wife,  and  after  a 
short  time  loses  her,  but  keeps  and  cherishes  little  Joey,  her 
only  child.  All  the  congealed  humanity  of  the  hard  man's 
nature  flows  into  a  living  well  of  love  for  little  Joey ;  for  his 
sake  all  toil  is  sweet,  and  every  privation  becomes  a  luxury. 
But  Joey,  as  he  grows  in  schoolboy  wisdom,  recognises  in  his 
father's  affection  only  an  instrument  whereby  to  gratify  his 
small  greeds  for  pleasure.  The  petty  vices  and  hard-heartedness 
of  a  child  change  into  the  deliberate  profligacy  of  the  man, 
and  Joey's  untimely  end  is  on  the  gallows.  With  Andrew  the 
fountains  of  the  great  deep  are  broken  up ;  anguish  restores 
him  to  his  kind,  yet  with  some  of  his  native  starkness  still  re- 


maining.  The  shell  containing  his  son's  body  is  brought  home 
upon  Andrew's  cart ;  with  a  strange  gentleness  he  dismisses 
the  neighbours,  saying  that  he  will  now  take  rest ;  and  when, 
through  kindly  curiosity,  they  come  to  look  in  through  the  dim- 
lighted  window,  there  is  the  coffin  laid  straight  upon  the  bed, 
and  there  is  the  desolate  old  man  stretched  beside  it,  in  tranquil 
sleep,  one  arm  flung  over  its  side,  and  his  head  pressed  against 
the  deal.  Andrew  is  of  tough  fibre,  and  endures  ;  parting  with 
his  patrimony  to  clear  off  his  son's  ill  accounts,  he  rubs  along 
through  life  with  the  old  mare,  serving  the  country  side  for 
many  a  year  as  carrier.  Andrew  Cleaves  is  a  distant  kinsman, 
in  our  imagination,  of  that  old  man,  so  plain  and  real,  yet 
almost  visionary  through  the  strength  and  solitude  of  grief, 
who  left  unbuilt  the  sheepfold 

''Beside  the  boisterous  brook  of  Green-head  Ghyll." 

The  parsimony  of  means  used  to  produce  a  pathetic  impres- 
sion by  Wordsworth  gives  us  in  some  degree  a  measure  of  his 

The  actual  miseries  of  English  workmen  and  their  children 
moved  Caroline  Bowles,  in  1833,  to  write  her  little  volume, 
Tales  of  the  Factories — verses  which  indignation  made.  A 
notice  of  their  origin  will  be  found  in  Letters  CXLIX.  and 
CLI.  Some  of  the  gaunt  misery  of  the  factory  life  is  power- 
fully expressed  in  the  first  of  these  poems.  What  is  lurid  and 
exaggerated  in  the  remaining  pieces  is  accounted  for,  if  not 
justified,  by  the  Minutes  of  Evidence  taken  before  the  Com- 
mittee of  the  House  of  Commons.  The  dwarfed  or  distorted 
workmen  testified  to  the  horrors  of  the  spinning-room  and 
the  card-room,  and  their  testimony  was  accepted  as  true : — 
"  What  were  the  hours  of  labour  at  the  giggs  ? — We  began  at 
five  on  Monday  morning,  and  went  on  to  Tuesday  night  at 
nine.  You  were  perfectly  straight-limbed  before  ? — Yes.  And 
a  very  strong  youth  ? — Yes.  Were  the  girls  strapped,  as  well 
as  the  boys  ? — Yes.  Were  the  girls  so  struck  as  to  leave  marks 
upon  their  skin  ? — Yes ;  they  have  had  black  marks  many 
times."  Through  Caroline  Bowles's  poetry  the  cry  of  the 

INTR  OD  UCTION.  xxvii 

children  had  gone  up,  before  a  greater  sister-poet  made  that 
cry  pierce  deeper  our  forgetfulness  of  wrong. 

The  last  volume,  wholly  her  own,  published  by  Caroline 
Bowles,  was  that  containing  her  autobiographical  poem  The 
Birthday  (1836),  from  which  I  have  woven  together  my  notice 
of  her  childhood  in  this  Introduction.  It  is  this  poem  which 
chiefly  bears  out  Henry  Nelson  Coleridge's  description  of  her 
as  "  the  Cowper  of  our  modern  poetesses."  *  "  She  has  much 
of  that  great  writer's  (Cowper's)  humour,  fondness  for  rural  life, 
melancholy  pathos,  and  moral  satire.  She  has  also  Cowper's 
pre-eminently  English  manner  in  diction  and  thought.  We  do 
not  remember  any  recent  author  whose  poetry  is  so  unmixedly 
native;  and  this  English  complexion  constitutes  one  of  its 
characteristic  charms."  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  the  poetical 
Autobiography  goes  no  farther  than  her  childhood.  The 
reader  who  is  unacquainted  with  the  poetry  of  Caroline  Bowles 
will  perhaps  be  pleased  to  have  a  specimen  presented,  and  I 
choose  a  descriptive  rather  than  a  humorous  passage : — 

"  That  was  a  lovely  brook,  by  whose  green  marge, 
We  two  (the  patient  angler  and  his  child) 
Loitered  away  so  many  summer  days ! 
A  shallow  sparkling  stream,  it  hurried  now 
Leaping  and  glancing  among  large  round  stones, 
With  everlasting  friction  chafing  still 
Their  polished  smoothness — on  a  gravelly  bed, 
Then  softly  slipt  away  with  rippling  sound, 
Or  all  inaudible,  where  the  green  moss 
Sloped  down  to  meet  the  clear  reflected  wave, 
That  lipped  its  emerald  bank  with  seeming  show 
Of  gentle  dalliance.     In  a  dark,  deep  pool 
Collected  now,  the  peaceful  waters  slept 
Embayed  by  rugged  headlands  ;  hollow  roots 
Of  huge  old  pollard  willows.     Anchored  there, 
Rode  safe  from  every  gale,  a  silvan  fleet 
Of  milk-white  water-lilies ;  every  bark 
Worthy  as  those  on  his  own  sacred  flood 
To  waft  the  Indian  Cupid.     Then  the  stream 
Brawling  again  o'er  pebbly  shallows  ran, 
On — on,  to  where  a  rustic,  rough-hewn  bridge, 
All  bright  with  mosses  and  green  ivy  wreaths, 

*   Quarterly  Review,  September,  1840. 

xxviii  INTR  OD  UCTION. 

Spanned  the  small  channel  with  its  single  arch  ; 
And  underneath,  the  bank  on  either  side 
Shelved  down  into  the  water  darkly  green 
"With  unsunned  verdure ;  or  whereon  the  sun 
Looked  only  when  his  rays  at  eventide 
Obliquely  glanced  between  the  blackened  piers 
With  arrowy  beams  of  orient  emerald  light 
Touching  the  river  and  its  velvet  marge." 

Among  the  shorter  poems  of  The  Birthday  volume  are  some 
of  the  best  of  Caroline  Bowles's  miscellaneous  verses — The 
Legend  of  Santarem,  telling  in  graceful  stanzas  the  story  (given 
to  her  in  one  of  Southey's  letters)  of  the  Menino  Jesus  and  his 
blessed  fellow- children ;  The  Last  Journey,  which  moves  as  to 
the  stepping  of  the  Egyptian  bearers  of  the  dead ;  Little 
Leonard's  Good-night,  a  poem  that  spoke  touchingly  to  Southey's 
heart ;  and  a  dainty  copy  of  verses,  as  our  grandfathers  would 
have  called  them,  sent  "  To  My  Little  Cousin  with  her  First 
Bonnet"  in  which  that  most  exquisite  piece  of  human  head- 
gear is  commended  to  the  care  of  elfin  guardians.* 

It  is  by  a  few  of  her  shorter  verses,  The  Mariner's  Hymn, 
The  Pauper's  Death-bed,  and  one  or  two  others,  that  Caroline 
Bowles  is  commonly  represented,  much  as  Southey  must  always 
appear  as  author  of  The  Battle  of  Blenheim,  or  Mary  the  Maid  of 
the  Inn,  and  Mrs.  Hemans  of  Casablanca  and  The  Homes  of 
England.  There  is  some  mysterious  justice  in  the  awards  of 
fame  with  which  one  hardly  dares  to  quarrel.  But  it  seems  to 
nie  that  three  or  four  pieces,  each  of  considerable  length,  and 
each  in  the  rhymed  couplet,  which  appear  in  the  Robin  Hood 
volume  (1847),  stand  upon  an  altogether  different  level  from 
any  other  poems  of  their  author,  and  give  her  a  title  to  rank 
high  among  women  who  have  had  a  part  in  English  poetry. 
These  are  The  Young  Grey  Head,  The  Murder  Glen,  Walter  and 
William,  and  The  Evening  Walk.  If  her  poetical  autobiography 
brings  her  into  comparison  with  Cowper,  these  narrative  pieces 
suggest  another  comparison,  and  would  justify  us  in  describing 
her  as  the  Crabbe  among  our  modern  poetesses — a  Crabbe  in 

*  The  word  printed  sonnet,  p.  159,  1.  9,  ought  to  be  bonnet. 



whom  womanly  tenderness  replaces  the  hard  veracity  charac- 
teristic of  that  eminent  poet.*  I  am  glad  to  confirm  my  own 
opinion  with  the  judgment  of  a  cultivated  critic,  David  Moir. 
"  We  doubt,"  he  says,  "  if  the  English  language  contains  any- 
thing more  profoundly  pathetic  than  Mrs.  Southey's  four 
tales,"  naming  those  mentioned  above.  This  is,  indeed,  ex- 
aggerated praise  ;  but  it  is  the  exaggeration  which  comes  from 
high  enjoyment.  The  difficult  verse  is  managed  for  narrative 
purpose  with  an  ease  and  strength  which  make  one  wonder  how 
and  where  they  were  acquired.  The  poems  do  not  well  bear  to 
be  broken  up,  but  a  short  passage  may  serve  to  show  how  the 
couplet  is  handled ;  it  is  from  The  Young  Grey  Head,  where  the 
farmer  finds  his  two  children  at  the  swollen  ford : — 

"  '  That's  sure,'  said  Mark.     «  So— let  the  lantern  shine 
Down  yonder.     There's  the  dog,  and,  hark  ! ' 

'  Oh  dear ! ' 

And  a  low  sob  came  faintly  on  the  ear, 
Mock'd  by  the  sobbing  gust.     Down,  quick  as  thought, 
Into  the  stream  leapt  Ambrose,  where  he  caught 
Fast  hold  of  something — a  dark  huddled  heap — 
Half  in  the  water,  where  'twas  scarce  knee-deep, 
For  a  tall  man ;  and  half  above  it,  propp'd 
By  some  old  ragged  side -piles,  that  had  stopt 
Endways  the  broken  plank,  when  it  gave  way 
With  the  two  little  ones  that  luckless  day  ! 
'  My  babes  !  my  lambkins  ! '  was  the  father's  cry ; 
One  little  voice  made  answer — '  Here  am  I ! ' 
'Twas  Lizzy's.     There  she  crouch' d,  with  face  as  white, 
More  ghastly,  by  the  nickering  lantern  light, 
Than  sheeted  corpse.     The  pale  blue  lips,  drawn  tight, 
Wide  parted,  showing  all  the  pearly  teeth, 
And  eyes  on  some  dark  object  underneath, 
Washed  by  the  turbid  water,  fixed  like  stone — 
One  arm  and  hand  stretched  out  and  rigid  grown, 
Grasping,  as  in  the  death-gripe — Jenny's  frock. 
There  lay  she  drowned.     Could  he  sustain  that  shock, 
The  doating  father  ?    Where's  the  unriven  rock 
Can  bide  such  blasting  in  its  flintiest  part 
As  that  soft,  sentient  thing — the  human  heart  ? 

*  The  treatment  of  the  rhymed  couplet  by  Caroline  Bowles  is,  however, 
very  different  from  that  of  Crabbe. 


In  The  Murder  Glen,  horror  and  pity  are  strangely  and 
powerfully  intertwined.  The  murderer's  idiot  child,  whose 
only  word  is  the  half -articulate  "  Mam-mam,"  pleads,  like  one 
of  Victor  Hugo's  piteous  human  grotesques,  for  all  outcast, 
despised,  downtrodden  things. 

In  this  Introduction  I  have  chosen  to  speak  of  Caroline 
Bowles  rather  than  of  Southey,  for  Southey 's  character  and  life 
and  work  in  literature  are  known.  He  appears  in  this  Corre- 
spondence as  he  appears  everywhere  else — a  man  sound  to  the 
core,  with  affections,  conscience,  will,  intellect,  imagination 
working  together  towards  worthy  and  honourable  ends,  and 
underlying  all  these  a  temperament  almost  as  dangerously 
excitable  as  that  of  Shelley.  Carlyle,  in  his  Reminiscences, 
with  some  valorous  blundering,  and  some  quite  reckless  mis- 
statements  with  reference  to  Caroline  Bowles,  has  brought  out 
vividly  that  union  of  passion  with  self-mastery  and  self-manage- 
ment which  gave  Southey  his  singularity  among  men  of  genius  : 
"  I  said  to  myself,  '  How  has  this  man  contrived,  with  such  a 
nervous  system,  to  keep  alive  for  near  sixty  years  ?  Now 
blushing  under  his  grey  hairs,  rosy  like  a  maiden  of  fifteen; 
now  slaty  almost  like  a  rattle-snake  or  fiery  serpent  ?  How 
has  he  not  been  torn  to  pieces  long  since,  under  such  furious 
pulling  this  way  and  that  ?  He  must  have  somewhere  a  great 
deal  of  methodic  virtue  in  him  ;  I  suppose,  too,  his  heart  is 
thoroughly  honest,  which  helps  considerably.' "  An  Arab  steed 
bearing  the  load  of  a  pack-horse — this  was  Southey ;  and  he 
bore  his  load  steadily,  gracefully,  almost  proudly ;  bore  it  long 
and  well ;  then  suddenly  quivered,  and  fell  beside  the  way. 

Had  I  lived  when  Southey  was  a  force  in  English  politics, 
I  do  not  doubt  that  I  should  have  been  of  the  opposite  camp 
with  respect  to  some  great  public  questions — Catholic  Emanci- 
pation, Parliamentary  Reform,  Free  Trade,  and  perhaps  others 
of  deeper  significance.  It  has  been  a  lesson  to  me  of  no  small 
value  to  learn  why  Southey  and  Wordsworth  came  to  think  on 
these  and  kindred  subjects  as  they  did ;  to  learn  how  large  was 
their  portion  of  the  underlying  truth.  And  it  has  been  no 
common  happiness  to  know  for  a  fact  that  love  and  veneration 

IN  TR  OD  UCTION.  xxxi 

are  not  paled  in  by  our  poor  penfolds  of  opinions,  but  follow 
freely  the  high  constraint  proceeding  from  a  beautiful  human 

"  As  the  water  follows  the  moon  silently,  with  fluid  steps, 
anywhere  around  the  globe." 

Praise,  Southey  would  not  have  desired,  and  he  does  not  need 
it,  the  life  of  a  good  man  abiding  as  a  part  of  the  solid  harvest 
— and  also  of  the  ever  renewing  seed-time — of  our  earth.  But 
the  judgment  of  his  peers  on  Southey  has  been  expressed  in 
three  monumental  passages,  and  these  have  not  yet  been  placed 
side  by  side.  It  is  well  to  keep  them  on  record,  and  here  they 
shall  stand : — 

"  Never  in  the  course  of  my  existence,"  wrote  Walter  Savage 
Landor,  *'  have  I  known  a  man  so  excellent  on  so  many  points. 
What  he  was  as  a  son  is  now  remembered  by  few ;  what  he  was 
as  a  husband  and  father  shows  it  more  clearly  than  the  best 
memory  could  represent  it.  The  purity  of  his  youth,  the  inte- 
grity of  his  manhood,  the  soundness  of  his  judgment,  and  the 
tenderness  of  his  heart,  they  alone  who  have  been  blest  with  the 
same  qualities  can  appreciate.  And  who  are  they  ?  Many  with 
one,  some  with  more  than  one,  nobody  with  all  of  them  in  the 
like  degree.  So  there  are  several  who  possess  one  quality  of  his 
poetry ;  none  who  possess  the  whole  variety." 

"  There  are  men  with  whose  characters  it  is  the  interest  of 
their  contemporaries,  no  less  than  that  of  posterity,  to  be  made 
acquainted,"  writes  S.  T.  Coleridge.  "  I  know  few  men  who  so 
well  deserve  as  Southey  the  character  which  an  ancient  attri- 
butes to  Marcus  Cato,  namely,  that  he  was  likest  virtue,  inas- 
much as  he  seemed  to  act  aright,  not  in  obedience  to  any  law  or 
outward  motive,  but  by  the  necessity  of  a  happy  nature,  which 
could  not  act  otherwise.  As  son,  brother,  husband,  father, 
master,  friend,  he  moves  with  firm  yet  light  steps,  alike  unos- 
tentatious and  alike  exemplary.  .  .  .  When  future  critics 
shall  weigh  out  his  guerdon  of  praise  and  censure,  it  will  be 
Southey  the  poet  alone  that  will  supply  them  with  the  scanty 
materials  for  the  latter.*  They  will  likewise  not  fail  to  record, 

*  In  an  earlier  passage  Coleridge  has  spoken  with  an  admiration  of 
Southey 's  poems  which  would  have  satisfied  even  Landor. 


that  as  no  man  was  ever  a  more  constant  friend,  never  had  poet 
more  friends  and  honourers  among  the  good  of  all  parties ;  and 
that  quacks  in  education,  quacks  in  politics,  and  quacks  in  criti- 
cism were  his  only  enemies." 

"  Of  what  he  did  accomplish,"  writes  Henry  Taylor,  "a  por- 
tion will  not  soon  be  forgotten.  There  were  greater  poets  in 
his  generation,  and  there  were  men  of  a  deeper  and  more  far- 
reaching  philosophic  faculty ;  but  take  him  for  all  in  all — his 
ardent  and  genial  piety,  his  moral  strength,  the  magnitude  and 
variety  of  his  powers,  the  field  which  he  covered  in  literature, 
and  the  beauty  of  his  life — it  may  be  said  of  him  justly  and 
with  no  straining  of  the  truth,  that  of  all  his  contemporaries  he 
was  the  greatest  Man." 

Thus  it  is  that  those  who  knew  him  best  have  spoken  of 

NOTE. — The  proofs  of  the  first  two  sheets  reached  me  at-  a  time  when 
the  originals  of  the  letters  were  not  within  my  reach,  and  I  trusted  to  tran- 
scripts; hence  the  following  errata: — p.  15,  4  lines  from  bottom,  for  vale 
readwa//;  p.  25,  10  lines  from  bottom,  for  forward  Te&A.  favourite;  p.  29, 
15  lines  from  bottom  for  apprehensive  read  oppressive. 





April  25th,  1818. 

I  AM  startled  at  my  own  temerity,  in  venturing  to  approach 
Mr.  Southey  with  a  request  which  yet  emanates  from  the 
very  reverse  of  a  presumptuous  feeling  —  with  a  request  that  he 
will  charitably  devote  some  leisure  hour  to  the  perusal  of  the 
manuscript  which  accompanies  this  petition,  the  contents  of 
which  I  scarcely  venture  to  dignify  with  the  title  of  poem.  It 
must  appear  strange  that,  entertaining  so  humble  an  opinion 
of  its  merits,  I  should  be  solicitous  to  hazard  them  at  the 
tribunal  of  Mr.  Southey's  judgment  —  the  more  so,  as  he  is 
an  entire  stranger  to  the  very  name  and  existence  of  so  insig- 
nificant a  being  as  Caroline  Bowles;  and  yet  these  considera- 
tions, far  from  deterring  me  from  the  measure,  have  decided 
me  to  adopt  it  :  with  regard  to  the  first,  it  has  even  appeared 
to  me  that  persons  most  eminently  gifted  are  those  who  look 
with  the  greatest  indulgence  on  the  humble  efforts  of  inferior 
minds  ;  and,  at  all  events,  I  would  rather  be  "  weighed  in  the 
balance,  and  found  wanting,"  by  one  so  competent  to  decide, 
than  approved  of  and  encouraged  by  partial  or  incompetent 


judges.  That  I  am  also  personally  a  stranger  to  Mr.  Southey 
emboldens  me  to  prefer  my  present  petition.  His  character  is 
known  to  me,  not  only  through  the  medium  of  common  fame, 
but  by  the  report  of  one  who  knew  him  well  in  former  days. 
Concurring  testimonies  encourage  me  to  address  him,  and  I  feel 
a  cowardly  confidence  in  doing  so,  which  would  not  support  me 
in  approaching  a  personal  acquaintance.  This  I  am  very  con- 
scious is  a  weak  motive,  but  it  originates  in  feelings  of  reserved 
f earfulness,  which  I  cannot  conquer,  and  (strange  to  say)  I  am 
sensible  of  less  constraint  in  speaking  on  the  subject  to  a  stranger, 
whose  eyes  it  will  probably  never  be  my  lot  to  encounter,  and 
who  will  soon  lose  the  recollection  of  me,  and  my  presump- 
tuous folly,  if  such  indeed  it  should  appear  to  him.  With  this 
professed  unwillingness  to  attract  notice,  it  must  be  to  you,  sir, 
justly  a  matter  of  surprise  I  should  ever  have  conceived  the 
idea  of  intruding  on  the  public.  It  is  even  to  myself  marvel- 
lous; but  strong  motives,  and  I  hope  blameless  ones,  have  de- 
cided me. 

A  very  sudden  reverse  of  fortune,  occasioned  by  the  unfaith- 
ful conduct  of  a  person  who  had  acted  as  my  guardian,  threatens 
to  deprive  me  of  a  house  most  dear  to  me  from  infancy.  I  am 
still  struggling  to  retain  it,  and  would,  if  possible,  obtain  from 
my  own  efforts  some  trifling  pecuniary  assistance,  which,  in  its 
most  limited  extent,  would  be  of  temporary  convenience  to  me, 
and  might  thus  contribute  to  my  grand  desideratum,  that  of 
continuing  to  live  where  I  have  lived  so  happily.  A  stroke 
equally  sudden,  and  far  more  tremendous  than  that  which 
deprived  me  of  fortune,  took  from  me,  a  twelvemonth  since, 
my  only  surviving  parent — a  most  beloved  mother,  the  only 
and  inseparable  companion  of  my  life,  whose  age  and  constitu- 
tion had  afforded  me  reasonable  hope  that  Grod  would  be  pleased 
to  spare  to  me  till  an  advanced  age  the  blessing  of  her  society ; 
He  willed  otherwise,  and  I  am  now  so  far  desolate  in  the  world 
as  to  be  connected  with  it  by  no  filial  or  fraternal  tie.  I  remain 
the  solitary  tenant  of  this  beloved  little  dwelling,  where  every 
object,  and  tree,  and  shrub,  has  more  than  local  interest  for  me, 


and  the  extent  of  my  unambitious  desire  is  to  spend  the  remain- 
der of  my  days  amongst  them. 

Forgive  me,  sir,  for  intruding  on  your  time  and  patience  the 
insignificant  concerns  of  an  obscure  stranger;  but  I  am  tempted 
to  believe  Mr.  Southey  will  not  listen  with  a  stranger's  ear  to 
the  real,  though  common,  affliction  of  a  fellow-being,  and  I 
hope  that  this  short  detail  will  enable  him  to  appreciate  the 
motives  of  my  conduct.  I  am  too  conscious  that  my  attainments 
and  abilities  are  not  such  as  would  authorize  a  hope  that  any 
production  of  mine  can  be  entitled  to  more  than  indulgence ;  and 
indeed  I  sometimes  fear,  I  almost  suspect,  that  I  have  mistaken 
for  natural  taste  a  strong  inclination  for  poetry,  which  has  ruled 
me  from  childhood,  possibly  originating  in  the  solitary  reveries 
and  pursuits  incident  to  a  very  secluded  life.  I  have  never 
possessed  the  advantage  of  being  acquainted  with  any  person  of 
literary  habits ;  I  have  never  even  had  access  to  a  tolerable 
library;  my  reading  has  been  too  trifling  and  desultory  to  pro- 
duce much  good  effect;  and  my  life  so  stationary  in  this  tame, 
though  beautiful  country,  in  a  neighbourhood  where  the  society, 
though  large,  is  most  uninteresting,  that  my  imagination  is 
probably  coloured  with  these  surrounding  tints,  and  quite  un- 
able to  aspire  at  any  delineation  beyond  that  of  the  home 
scenes  familiar  to  me  from  infancy.  I  fear,  too,  I  may  have 
been  an  innocent  plagiarist ;  for  on  looking  over  my  manuscript 
many  lines  and  expressions  strike  me  as  borrowed,  which  yet, 
when  they  were  written,  appeared  to  flow  naturally  from  my 
pen ;  but  I  cannot  positively  detect  the  thefts,  if  such  they  are, 
not  having  the  authors  to  refer  to  from  whence  they  now  strike 
me  as  proceeding. 

And  now  what  more  can  I  say,  but  that  I  throw  myself  on 
your  indulgence  ?  Be  as  charitable  as  you  conscientiously  can, 
and  I  shall  be  gratefully  satisfied  with  your  decision.  My  pre- 
tensions are  so  humble,  that  I  have  little  to  apprehend  on  the 
score  of  mortified  vanity ;  I  should  only  have  to  shrink  back 
into  the  obscurity  from  which  I  make  a  trembling  effort  to 
emerge.  But  I  will  tell  you  what  most  appals  me :  I  shrink, 

B  2 


like  the  sensitive  plant,  from  the  touch  of  a  cold  answer,  by 
which  I  mean,  not  one  which  should  gently  and  kindly  tell 
me,  "  Be  advised :  you  have  mistaken  your  vocation  :  tempt 
not  the  public  scorn,"  but  one  that  should  reply  far  more 
chillingly,  "  I  cannot  possibly,  Madam,  accede  to  your  re- 
quest ;  I  should  be  inundated  with  such  were  I  to  attend  to 
them ;  I  beg  leave  to  decline  the  office  you  assign  to  me." 
This  is  the  repulse  I  should  fear,  were  I  addressing  any  other 
than  Mr.  Southey ;  and,  I  will  confess,  my  nature  is  not  cast  in 
such  heroic  mould  as  to  encounter  unshrinkingly  the  rebuke  of 
such  an  answer  from  a  quarter  to  which  I  had  anxiously  looked 
with  the  ardent  but  fearful  hope  of  gaining  to  myself  a  friend. 
I  dare  not  ask  myself  why  I  should  hope  to  inspire  such  an 
interest,  without  any  claims  but  those  of  misfortune.  To  such 
a  question,  my  reason  might  return  too  cold  an  answer,  and 
I  would  willingly  indulge  in  the  novelty  of  hope  till  certainty 
confirms  or  destroys  it. 

At  all  events,  I  feel  assured  that  Mr.  Southey's  .humanity 
and  gentleness  of  heart  will  not  suffer  him  to  repulse  contemp- 
tuously what  his  candour  and  judgment  may  oblige  him  to 
condemn.  I  will  intrude  on  him  no  longer  than  to  subscribe 
myself  Mr.  Southey's 

Most  obedient  Servant, 




KESWICK,  May  28th,  1818. 

This  day,  and  not  till  this  day,  did  I  receive  your  manu- 
script and  the  very  interesting  letter  by  which  it  was  intro- 
duced. You  will  have  expected  to  hear  from  me  ere  this,  and 
I  think  I  know  how  you  will  have  thought  and  felt,'  as  a 


suspicion  has  arisen  of  something  even  less  pardonable  than 
the  brutal  sort  of  repulse  which  you  have  done  me  the  justice 
not  to  anticipate.  Parcels  lie  for  me  at  Messrs.  Longmans'  till 
they  have  occasion  to  send  to  me ;  they  then  travel  by  wagon, 
which,  owing  to  the  change  of  carriers,  is  a  business  of  eighteen 
days,  or  sometimes  three  weeks.  Your  packet  has  been  fortu- 
nate in  not  having  been  longer  in  Paternoster-row. 

I  reply  to  your  letter  without  the  delay  of  a  single  post, 
and  with  sincere  pleasure ;  for  though  what  I  have  to  say  may 
in  some  degree  discourage  hope,  in  all  other  respects  it  will 
correspond  entirely  to  your  wishes.  The  success  of  a  poem," 
indeed  of  any  composition  whatsoever,  does  not  depend  upon 
its  merit — or  less  upon  its  merit  than  upon  any  other  cause. 
Of  the  volumes  of  poetry  which  are  published,  not  one  in 
twenty — perhaps  I  might  say  in  fifty — pays  the  expense  of 
publication,  though  there  is  not  one  of  the  whole  number 
which  would  not  have  excited  attention  and  secured  a  remu- 
neration to  the  author  had  it  been  published  thirty  years  ago. 
No  persons,  therefore,  should  risk  the  publication  of  a  poem  on 
their  own  account  unless  the  sacrifice  of  the  money  so  expended 
were  a  matter  of  indifference.  For  the  same  reason  booksellers 
will  not  purchase  poetry,  unless  from  some  writer  who  is  in 
vogue.  But  I  must  not  leave  you  here,  without  trying  what 
can  be  done.  The  "  Caroline  Bowles,  to  whose  very  name  and 
existence  I  was  a  stranger"  this  morning,  cannot  now  be  to  me 
an  "insignificant"  person,  one  whom  I  shall  soon  forget,  or  by 
whom  I  would  willingly  be  forgotten. 

Booksellers  are  not  the  most  liberal,  nor  the  most  amiable 
of  men.  They  are  necessarily  tradesmen;  and  a  constant  atten- 
tion to  profit  and  loss  is  neither  wholesome  for  the  heart  nor 
the  understanding.  Of  those  with  whom  I  have  any  dealings, 
Murray  is  the  one  who  would  be  least  unlikely  to  risk  the 
publication  of  your  poem,  and  the  most  likely  to  make  the 
publication  answer.  He  would  perhaps  take  the  risk  upon 
himself,  and  give  you  half  the  eventual  profits.  Shall  I  write 
to  him  upon  the  subject?  Poor  as  these  terms  may  appear, 


they  are  the  best  that  I  have  ever  obtained  for  myself.     My 
recommendation  ought  to  have  some  weight  with  him. 

I  do  not  like  such  poems,  because  I  am  old  enough  to  avoi'd 
all  unnecessary  pain.  Real  griefs  do  not  lessen  the  suscepti- 
bility for  fictitious  ones,  but  they  take  away  all  desire  for  them. 
There  is  a  great  deal  of  beauty  in  it — a  womanly  fluency,  a 
womanly  sweetness,  a  womanly  truth  and  tenderness  of  feel- 
ing, which  I  have  enough  of  my  mother  in  me  perfectly  to 
understand.  It  is  provoking  to  think  that  if  the  same  powers 
had  been  displayed  in  prose  instead  of  verse,  in  a  novel  instead 
of  a  poem,  there  would  have  been  little  or  no  doubt  of  finding  a 
publisher;  for  let  the  supply  of  novels  be  what  it  will,  the 
demand  is  sure  to  outrun  it. 

Many  years  ago,  I  resided  for  a  short  time  within  ten  miles 
of  Lymington.  I  wish  I  were  near  enough  now  to  see  and 
converse  with  you.  It  is  in  planning  a  work  that  advice  is 
useful ;  a  single  remark  may  then  induce  an  author  to  avoid  a 
fault  which  cannot  afterwards  be  got  rid  of  by  any .  laborious 
correction.  I  do  not  mean  to  say  that  this  poem  has  any  such 
faults:  a  few  verbal  alterations  are  all  I  should  suggest  here, 
and  a  few  omissions  where  they  can  be  made  without  injury, 
chiefly  for  the  sake  of  shortening  it,  because  I  foresee  that  its 
length  will  be  a  bookseller's  objection.  But  to  the  point :  if 
you  think  proper,  I  will  write  to  Murray  and  ask  him  whether 
he  will  publish  it ;  this  I  would  wish  you  to  consider  as  ex- 
tremely doubtful;  but  if  the  application  fails,  it  will  not  be 
for  any  want  of  warmth  and  sincerity  in  the  recommendation 
And  if  it  should  fail,  you  must  not  be  discouraged,  but  turn 
your  thoughts  to  something  else,  in  prose  or  verse,  in  which,  if 
I  can  assist  you  by  any  advice,  or  direct  you  to  any  subjects 
which  carry  with  them  some  attraction,  I  shall  be  very  happy 
to  show  that  you  have  not  honoured  with  your  confidence  one 
who  is  unfeeling,  and  therefore  unworthy  of  it.  For  the 
present  farewell,  and  believe  me, 

Yours,  with  sincere  regard, 





BUCKLAND,  June  3rd,  1818. 

No,  indeed,  you  have  not  guessed  how  I  have  "thought  and 
felt "  respecting  the  length  of  time  which  has  elapsed  since  I 
had  the  boldness  to  address  you.     I  was  aware  of  the  proba- 
bility that  it  would  be  long  before  my  packet  reached  you ;  and 
I  felt  assured  that  when  you  did  receive  it,  you  would  honour 
me  with  a  reply,  and  a  gentle  one.     It  will  appear  a  little 
incomprehensible  to  you  if  I  confess  that,  with  a  mind  im- 
pressed by   this   conviction,  I  anticipated  your  answer  with 
unconquerable  and  increasing  dread ;  for,  hardly  had  I  sent  off 
my  manuscript,  when  I  became  panic-struck  at  my  own  daring, 
and  after  a  very  little  time  succeeded  in  convincing  myself 
(greatly  to  the  comfort  of  my  feelings)  that  every  line  I  had 
written  was  execrable,  and  that  to  obtrude  such  trash  on  your 
notice   must   appear  to  you  the  height  of  impertinence   and 
folly.     Under  the  influence  of  these  pleasing  after- thoughts, 
I  endeavoured  to  console  myself  by  reflecting,  "  Well !  I  shall 
never  see  Mr.  Southey,  and  he  will  very  soon  forget  me  and 
my  nonsense."     With  such  anticipations,  you  may  guess  how 
tremblingly  I  broke  the  seal  of  your  letter;  but  you  cannot 
guess  (for  you  have  never  felt  as  I  have  felt)  with  what  sensa- 
tions I  read  its  contents ;  I  almost  fancied  I  could  discern  in 
them  the  kind  interest  of  a  friend  who  cared  for  me,  rather  than 
the  good-will  of  a  stranger,  and  I  want  words  to  express  my 
grateful  feelings.     Your  indulgence  to  my  little  poem  exceeds 
my  most  sanguine  hopes;  but  I  assure  you,  in  sincerity  of 
heart,  I  am  more  gratified  by  the  tone  of  interest  and  bene- 
volence which  characterizes  your  letter,  than  I  should  be  by 
the  public  success  of  an  attempt,  the  feebleness  and  imperfec- 
tion of  which  I  am  so  sensible  of.     How  altered  are  my  feel- 
ings since  yesterday  !     I  shall  now  deprecate  the  forget  fulness 
which  I  then  assured  myself  would  soon  shut  me  out  from 


Mr.  Southey's  remembrance.  He  will  live  in  mine  till  I 
become  insensible  to  the  charm  of  his  writings,  and  (what  is 
less  possible)  unmindful  of  the  delicacy  and  feeling  of  his 
conduct  towards  me. 

As  my  hope  of  success  was  never  brighter  than  a  twilight 
gleam,  I  shall  feel  little  disappointment  if  it  should  be  totally 
dispelled.  I  foresee  from  your  representation,  and  from  the 
kindness  with  which  you  prepare  me  for  the  circumstance,  that 
Murray  will  probably  reject  it ;  and  I  am  sensible  its  only 
chance  of  being  accepted  rests  on  your  recommendation.  And 
will  you  really  condescend  to  recommend  it  ?  How  willingly  I 
accept  your  offer!  How  thankfully  I  shall  avail  myself  of 
your  directions  to  alter  or  curtail,  and  how  eager  should  I  be  to 
claim  your  future  advice  and  the  guidance  of  your  judgment, 
if  I  felt  a  hope  of  being  able  to  profit  by  it ;  but  I  mistrust 
myself  too  entirely.  Poor  as  are  my  powers  of  composition 
in  verse,  I  should  find  it  still  more  difficult  to  write  in  prose ; 
and  for  a  novel !  I  could  as  easily  compose  a  .treatise  on 
chemistry.  See  on  what  a  feeble  and  poorly-gifted  mind  you 
would  bestow  the  honour  of  your  encouragement.  If  Murray 
rejects  the  manuscript,  do  me  the  last  kind  office  of  committing 
it  to  the  flames  :  it  will  only  be  spoiled  paper. 

I  entirely  agree  with  you :  we  need  not  create  to  ourselves 
fictitious  griefs ;  life  has  too  many  real  sorrows ;  but  the  mind 
recently  afflicted  colours  everything  with  its  own  sadness.  I 
wrote  under  such  impressions,  oppressed  besides  by  the  languor 
of  a  very  trying  nervous  disorder.  These  circumstances  may 
excuse  me.  Once,  everything  in  life  glowed  with  the  bright- 
ness of  my  own  feelings;  but  it  was  fit  the  painted  vapour 
should  be  dispelled.  Earth  had  too  much  of  my  affection,  and 
when  time  has  mellowed  those  shades  of  calamity,  I  may  pro- 
bably regain  some  feelings  of  tempered  enjoyment.  Your 
letter  has  imparted  to  me  the  most  pleasurable  I  have  known 
for  many  a  day.  Such  a  heart  as  yours  will  not  be  insensible 
to  the  assurance.  In  what  spot  near  Lymington  did  you  reside 
some  years  ago?  How  much  I  wish  you  were  indeed  near 


enough  for  me  to  see  and  converse  with  you.  Such  a  neigh- 
bourhood would  give  a  new  interest  to  my  existence ;  but  I  liVe 
in  a  desert,  of  which,  however,  my  little  house  is  still  the  green 
valley.  If  I  indulge  longer  in  such  digressions,  I  shall  forget 
how  little  I  am  authorized  to  weary  your  patience  ;  forgive  me 
for  having  intruded  on  it  so  long,  and  believe  me, 

Yours  most  gratefully, 



KESWICK,  June  11th,  1818. 

I  have  just  received  Murray's  reply,  which  is  very  much 
what  might  be  expected.  It  is  in  these  words:  "I  will  have 
great  pleasure  in  reading  the  lady's  MS.  poem,  though  unless  it 
be  very  striking  indeed  it  will  not  have  the  smallest  chance  of 
succeeding.  I  receive  at  least  500  poems  every  year,  out  of 
which  I  cannot  venture  to  print  six,  and  of  these,  not  one  half 
defray  the  expenses  of  publication." 

Times  are  very  much  changed  in  this  country  with  regard 
to  literature — or  perhaps  I  should  rather  say  fashions  are 
changed.  A  bookseller  would  formerly  take  the  opinion  of 
some  man  of  letters,  and  be  guided  by  his  private  and  unbiassed 
judgment  of  the  merits  of  the  work.  The  trade  are  grown 
wiser  now :  they  have  discovered  that  the  success  of  poetry  does 
not  depend  upon  its  merit,  but  upon  the  humour  of  the  season  ; 
and  they  have  discovered  also,  what  is  not  less  true,  that,  living 
upon  the  spot,  and  being  dealers  in  the  commodity,  they  them- 
selves are  the  best  judges  of  what  will  take. 

If  it  were  possible,  I  would  read  this  poem  with  you,  and 
explain,  as  we  went  through  it,  wherein  any  expression  is  faulty, 
and  why  any  part  or  passage  requires  alteration.  Generally 


speaking,  women  write  letters  better  than  men,  and  they  write- 
novels  better — I  do  not  mean  as  to  the  construction  of  the  story, 
or  the  conception  of  the  characters ;  but  their  language  is  easier 
and  happier;  they  express  their   feelings  more  readily,   ancU- 
therefore  more  naturally ;  and  they  write  the  real  language  of 
life  when  men  would  be  thinking  of  fine  composition,  which  has 
much  the  same  effect  upon  a  man's  style  as  it  would  have  upon 
his  manners  if  he  were  always  to  be  thinking  of  his  clothes. 
But  verse  requires  a  precision  both  of  thought  and  language-  "' 
(very  rarely  indeed   attained — scarcely  by  two  writers  in   a 
generation),  to  which  women  are  less  accustomed,  and  to  which 
their  education  has  not  trained  them. 

You  have  the  eye,  the  ear,  and  the  heart  of  a  poetess^ 
What  is  wanting  in  you  is  that  which  I  was  twenty  years  in 
learning,  and  had  hardly  acquired  when  evening  prospects  and 
autumnal  feelings  unfitted  me  for  what  requires  ardour,  and 
an  expenditure  of  spirits  which  I  can  no  longer  support  with 
impunity.  Competent  criticism  might  most  materially  have 
abridged  my  course,  but  it  was  not  my  fortune  to  meet  with 
it.  Your  poem  deserves  to  be  carefully  corrected.  I  myself 
re-wrote  two  of  my  long  poems,  and  a  very  considerable 
part  of  two  others.  The  best  passages  of  a  poem  are  those-  °i 
which  have  been  felicitously  produced  in  the  first  glow  of  com- 
position ;  but  I  have  found  in  my  own  experience  that  those 
which  have  been  inserted  in  place  of  something  faulty  have 
been  next  to  them  in  merit. 

It  was  at  Burton,  near  Christ  Church,  that  I  lodged  first 
for  one  summer,  and  afterwards  took  a  cottage,  which,  however, 
owing  to  ill  health,  I  did  not  occupy  long.  Once  more — do  not 
be  discouraged.  Tell  me  that  you  will  correct  your  poem- 
valiantly,  and  if  you  will  make  up  your  mind  by  this  resolu- 
tion, I  will  go  through  it  severely,  book  by  book. 

Farewell,  and  believe  me, 

Yours  faithfully, 



Miss  Bowles,  writing  on  July  16,  1818,  from  the  Isle  of 
"Wight,  whither  she  had  gone  to  recover  health,  gratefully  ac- 
cepts Southey's  offer  to  go  over  the  poem  with  her,  correcting 
its  errors.  Letters  from  Southey  follow,  containing  a  numher 
of  minute  criticisms,  of  which  letters  the  second  concludes 
thus : — 

These  remarks  are  not  worth  much  in  themselves ;  but  it  is 
of  some  consequence  to  remove  any  grammatical  inaccuracies, 
however  slight,  and  it  is  of  far  more  to  impress  upon  a  writer  the 
necessity  of  adhering  as  strictly  to  sound  sense  in  verse  as  vsf 
prose.  For  however  brilliant  a  poem  may  be  in  parts,  and  how- 
ever popular  it  may  be  because  of  that  brilliancy,  if  the  poet, 
either  from  a  false  system,  or  from  the  want  of  system,  writes 
nonsense,  his  works  will  inevitably  be  forgotten,  or  only  remem- 
bered to  his  dispraise.  The  judgment :,  therefore,  must  always^ 
be  exercised  in  writing,  and  it  is  the  last  thing  which  a  poet 
learns  to  exercise.  The  world  may  put  up  for  a  while  with  some- 
thing that  looks  like  sense,  if  it  be  flashy  or  striking  ;  and  thus 
it  is  that  every  age  has  had  its  favourites,  whose  reputation 
passes  away  like  that  of  an  actor  or  a  beauty  in  high  life,  when 
anyone  with  equal  pretensions  comes  forward. 

When  you  have  revised  the  poem,  send  it  to  Murray,  and, 
if  you  do  not  like  that  he  should  know  your  name  and  address, 
say  in  a  note  that  you  send  for  his  inspection  the  poem  concern- 
ing which  I  had  written  to  him,  and  desire  him  to  make  known 
his  determination  concerning  it  to  me.  And  then,  if  he  chooses 
to  print  it,  I  will  refer  him  to  you.  Whether  he  will  or  no,  or 
what  the  reception  of  the  poem  may  be,  if  he  should,  I  cannot 
pretend  to  augur.  The  last  thirty  years  have  produced  a  great  ^ 
change  in  these  things.  Even  when  I  began  to  write,  there 
was  a  fair  field,  and  whoever  appeared  in  it  was  sure  to  obtain 
notice.  Now  it  is  so  crowded,  that  poems  are  entirely  neglected 
which  would  then  have  been  regarded  with  wonder  and  ap- 


Tell  me  also  what  you  have  written  (for  you  must  have 
written  other  things),  and  what  you  think  of  writing,  if  you 
have  anything  planned.  A  happy  subject  may  attract  atten- 
tion, and  a  word  of  advice  respecting  the  plan  may  he  worth 
fifty  after  it  is  executed.  I  wish  you  may  be  able  also  to  tell 
me  that  your  health  is  improved,  and  that  with  it  your  heart  is 
recovering  strength  and  genial  feelings. 

Believe  me,  sincerely  yours, 



BUCKLAKD,  Sept.  21st,  1818. 

I  thank  you  most  gratefully  for  your  two  valuable  letters ; 
it  will  be  my  own  fault,  or  rather  my  misfortune,  if  the  criti- 
cisms they  contain  are  not  most  useful  to  me,  lenient  as  they 
are,  for  you  cauterize  with  a  gentle  hand. 

Yes — I  have  written  lots  of  other  things  since  five  years 
old,  I  think,  or  rather  composed,  for  at  that  mature  period  my 
father  used  to  write  them  for  his  spoiled  child  ;  and  I  dare  say 
my  miscellaneous  works  would  fill  a  decent  volume,  if  they  had 
been  carefully  rescued  from  the  copy-books,  drawing-books, 
and  receipt-books,  where  I  was  wont  to  scribble  them  in  all 
blank  pages.  Happily  most  of  those  sublime  effusions  have 
disappeared  by  degrees :  out  of  the  few  remaining  I  venture  to 
enclose  one  or  two  (I  hardly  know  for  what  purpose,  for  they 
do  not  deserve  your  notice,  and  you  did  but  ask  me  "  if  I  had 
written  other  things").  I  cannot  resist  my  inclination  to  send 
you  at  the  same  time  a  little  poem  which  fell  into  my  hands  a 
short  time  ago  ;  it  appears  to  me  to  wear  the  stamp  of  no  ordi- 
nary genius. 


I  have  nothing  planned,  and  I  have  no  courage  to  plan,  for 
my  stores  of  information  are  so  scanty,  and  I  have  so  little  con-x 
fidence  in  my  own  taste  and  judgment,  that  I  can  hardly  hope 
to  select  any  attractive  subject.  One  of  your  suggesting  might 
perhaps  inspire  me  with  more  confidence  (or  rather  hope)  of 
success,  and  from  your  abundance  of  ideas  you  may  venture  to 
supply  the  destitute.  See  what  a  bold  beggar  you  have  made 

I  thank  God  my  health  is  somewhat  amended,  and  my  feel- 
ings less  dreary  than  they  were.  I  am  very  grateful  for  your 
humane  inquiry,  and  while  I  live  I  shall  never  forget  your 
kindness  to  me,  at  a  season  when  kindness  and  gentleness  is 
most  soothing  to  a  wounded  spirit. 

I  remain,  most  truly  yours, 


Availing  myself  of  your  permission,  I  will  desire  Murray  to 
acquaint  you  with  his  awful  fiat. 



KESWICK,  March  18th,  1819. 

I  wrote  to  Murray  on  the  sixth  of  last  month,  to  inquire 
the  fate  of  your  poem,  and  this  day  I  have  received  an  apology 
for  not  answering  my  letter  till  now,  stating  (which  no  doubt 
is  the  truth)  that,  not  having  answered  it  by  return  of  post,  it 
went  out  of  his  head. 

I  feared  what  his  reply  would  be,  and  from  this  long  silence 
you  will  have  anticipated  it.  These  are  his  words:  "The  MS. 
poem  is  such  as  to  do  its  author  very  great  credit.  But  the 
fact  is  that  no  poetry,  except  your  own  and  that  of  some  four 


or  five  others,  has  the  least  chance  of  sale  at  present,  and  I 
am  obliged  to  refrain."  There  is  but  too  much  truth  in  this. 
Poets  who  would  have  obtained  universal  applause  thirty  years 
ago  cannot  now  obtain  a  hearing,  however  great  the  promise 
their  works  may  contain,  and  the  vilest  trash  will  be  received 
from  one  who,  by  fair  means  or  foul,  has  obtained  a  reputation. 
As  for  the  incivility  of  Murray's  long  delay,  you  must  remem- 
ber that  a  great  bookseller  is  a  much  greater  man  than  the 
Prime  Minister. 

I  am  sorry  for  this,  and  perhaps  more  disappointed  than 
you  will  be.  A  local  poem,  such  as  I  suggested  in  my  last 
letter,*  would  have  a  better  chance  than  one  of  any  other  kind, 
because  it  carries  with  it  a  local  interest.  The  New  Forest  is, 
both  in  its  history  and  scenery,  a  rich  subject ;  and  with  the 
help  of  prints  a  book  might  be  made  which  would  be  bought  by 
idlers  at  Lymington,  Southampton,  &c. ;  booksellers  must  look 
to  the  sale  of  what  they  publish,  and  this  is  a  kind  of  sale 
on  which  they  can  in  some  degree  calculate.  The  Isle  of  Wight 
is  not  so  extensive  a  subject ;  but  it  would  have  the  same  advan- 
tage. The  Forest,  however,  affords  more  scope,  and  would  sup- 
ply matter  for  a  very  interesting  poem,  especially  to  one  who 
has  so  many  feelings  connected  with  it  as  you  needs  must  have. 
Have  you  ever  accustomed  yourself  to  write  blank  verse  ?  for 
that  would  be  the  most  suitable  metre.  Think  of  this — of  the 
convents  and  castles  within  its  ancient  precincts — of  Winches- 
ter— of  William  the  Conqueror  and  William  Eufus — of  its 
natural  history,  both  as  relating  to  vegetable  and  animal  life — 
of  what  you  have  seen  and  what  you  have  felt  there.  Think  of 
these  things,  and  tell  me  what  you  think  of  them,  and  believe 

Yours  faithfully, 


*  In  a  letter  of  January  8,  1819,  Southey  had  suggested  "  The  New 
Forest"  as  the  subject  of  a  poem. 


From  Clifton,  Bristol,  whither  she  had  gone  in  search  of 
health,  Miss  Bowles  writes  to  Southey,  on  May  12,  181§, 
informing  him  that  Murray's  adverse  decision  was  not  unex- 
pected ;  assigning  reasons  for  her  not  attempting  a  poem  on  the 
New  Forest,  as  proposed  by  Southey;  and  expressing  her  desire 
to  submit  to  him  an  unfinished  poem  in  blank  verse,  embody- 
ing recollections  of  her  earlier  years — the  poem  -afterwards  pub- 
lished under  the  title  of  The  Birthday. 


KESWICK,  May  21st,  1819. 

I  shall  be  in  London,  if  no  unforeseen  circumstances  occur 
to  prevent  me,  in  three  or  four  weeks  from  this  time ;  and  if  you 
•direct  your  manuscript  to  me,  at  Dr.  Southey 's  (my  brother), 
15,  Queen  Anne-street,  Cavendish- square,  I  shall  find  it  there, 
sooner  than  it  would  find  its  way  to  Keswick  through  the  book- 
seller's hands.  I  dare  say  you  wrote  blank  verse — your  ear 
will  lead  you  to  the  measure ;  but  if  you  should  have  written 
under  any  erroneous  notion  of  its  structure,  it  will  be  very  easy 
to  show  you  where  you  are  wrong,  and  what  you  have  to  cor- 

Bristol  is  my  native  place,  and  the  first  imagery  which  I 
ever  drew  from  nature  was  from  the  rocks  and  woods  about 
Clifton.  There  was  (and  probably  still  is),  not  far  from  Cook's 
Folly,  a  horse-block  upon  the  Down,  close  to  the  vale — a  point 
from  whence  a  stranger  looks  down  upon  the  river  and  the 
opposite  woods ;  immediately  under  that  horse-block  is  a  little 
cave,  overhung  with  ivy,  the  access  to  which  I  should  probably 


find  difficult  now;  but,  when  I  was  between  fifteen  and  eighteen, 
many  and  many  are  the  verses  which  I  wrote  in  that  cave. 
One  of  my  schoolfellows  seemed  at  that  time  to  have  an  incli- 
nation for  poetry  almost  as  decided  as  my  own — we  called  our- 
selves Nisus  and  Euryalus,  and  the  former  of  these  names  I 
cut  in  the  rock,  where  I  used  to  take  my  seat. 

One  thing  before  I  conclude.  An  old  friend  of  mine,  for 
whom  I  have  a  great  regard  and  affection,  lives  (I  believe) 
within  a  few  doors  of  your  present  abode.  His  name  is  King, 
he  is  by  profession  a  surgeon,  by  birth  a  Swiss,  and  his  wife, 
a  sister  of  Miss  Edge  worth.  If  you  would  like  to  have  an 
acquaintance  who  would  be  desirous  of  rendering  you  any  ser- 
vice in  his  power,  let  me  know,  and  I  will  write  to  him  that  he 
may  call  upon  you,  and  introduce  himself  as  my  friend.  He  is 
a  man  of  great  goodness  and  extraordinary  talents. 

Farewell,  and  believe  me, 

Yours  faithfully, 



KESWICK,  November  20th,  1819. 

Yesterday  evening  a  friend  brought  me  your  manuscript,* 
which  had  so  long  been  lying  in  Queen  Anne-street.  I  read  it 
this  morning,  and  will  rather  despatch  a  hasty  letter  than  let  a 
post  elapse  without  telling  you  of  its  arrival,  and  exhorting  you, 
by  all  means,  to  proceed  with  the  poem.  It  is  in  a  very  sweet 
strain ;  go  on  with  it,  and  you  will  produce  something  which 
may  hold  a  permanent  place  in  English  literature.  As  you  go 

*  The  manuscript  of  Caroline  Bowles's  autobiographical  poem   "  The 


on,  you  will  feel  what  passages  are  feeble  and  require  to  Ipe 
shortened  or  expunged — there  is  very  little  that  stands  in  need 
of  this.  The  flow  of  verse  is  natural,  and  the  language  uncon- 
strained— both  as  they  should  be.  Everybody  will  recognize 
the  truth  of  the  feeling  which  produces  it,  and  there  is  a  charm 
in  the  pictures,  the  imagery,  and  the  expression,  which  cannot 
fail  to  be  felt. 

I  made  a  long  tour  in  Scotland,  of  several  weeks.  I  saw  a 
great  deal  that  is  fine,  and  a  great  deal  that  is  in  a  high  degree 
beautiful ;  but  the  general  character  of  the  Highlands  is  severe 
and  mournful,  and  the  impression  upon  me  when  I  returned 
was,  that  these  lakes  gain  as  much  by  a  comparison  with  the 
Scotch,  as  they  lose  when  compared  with  the  Swiss  and  Italian. 

I  intend  to  be  in  London  as  soon  as  my  "  Life  of  Wesley  " 
is  finished,  which  will  be  in  the  beginning  of  February.  Shall 
I  keep  your  poem  till  I  can  carry  it  so  far  on  its  way?  I  am 
too  busy  at  present  to  say  more;  only  understand  these  hurried 
lines  as  encouraging  you  in  the  strongest  and  most  unequi- 
vocal manner  to  proceed. 

Yours,  very  truly, 




BTJCKLAKD,  January  21s£,  1820. 

I  have  so  often  been  guilty  of  replying  to  your  letters  with 
indiscreet  haste,  that  in  the  present  case  I  think  myself  rather 
entitled  to  commendation  for  leaving  your  last  so  long  unan- 
swered; but  discretion  has  its  limits,  and  shall  restrain  me  no 
longer  from  thanking  you  for  the  kind  approbation  you  were 
pleased  to  bestow  on  the  MS.  fragment  I  sent  you  last  sum- 


Encouraged  thus  by  you,  I  cannot  but  proceed  with  it,  and 
indeed  the  subject  is  such  as  I  should  be  loath  to  leave,  if  only 
for  the  sake  of  the  gratification  I  experience  in  giving  some- 
thing of  durability  to  circumstances,  scenes,  and  images  long 
past,  and  now  obliterated,  except  from  my  recollection.  But 
the  very  interest  which  almost  compels  me  to  write,  incapaci- 
tates me  from  judging  fairly  of  what  I  write,  for  those  pas- 
sages on  which  I  have  dwelt  with  peculiar  pleasure  may,  in 
fact,  be  tedious  and  feeble  in  the  opinion  of  a  cool  observer.  I 
wish,  therefore,  that  when  you  read  the  MS.  you  had  drawn 
your  pen  unsparingly  through  such  parts  as  appeared  to  you 
most  objectionable ;  but  at  all  events  I  will  endeavour  to  weed 
and  prune  it,  when  I  transcribe  that  first  copy,  which  I  can 
wait  for  very  patiently,  till  you  take  it  to  town,  as  you  kindly 
offer  to  do,  in  February.  There  is  a  chance — just  a  chance — 
that  I  may  be  in  London  about  that  season,  on  my  way  (a  very 
circuitous  one)  to  Worcestershire.  I  look  forward  with  appre- 
hension to  that  possibility,  for  no  pleasant  business  awaits  me 
in  the  great  city ;  but  I  should  be  in  some  measure  reconciled 
to  the  painful  cause  which  may  draw  me  there,  could  I  hope 
then  to  become  personally  acquainted  with  Mr.  Southey. 

I  heard  it  said  that  the  article  in  the  Quarterly  Review  for 
August,  relating  to  the  Catacombs,  was  written  by  you.  The 
brief  account  of  Herbert  Knowles  particularly  interested  me; 
what  an  incorrect  history  of  him  was  that  I  had  obtained, 
and  with  which  I  favoured  you  so  officiously !  but  I  am  perpe- 
tually finding  out  (when  too  late)  that  I  have  said  or  written 
something  foolish  or  impertinent,  a  reflection  which  very  natu- 
rally suggests  to  me  that  it  is  high  time  to  conclude  my  letter. 

I  remain  most  truly  yours, 




CHELSEA,  June  1th,  1820. 

I  should  hardly  presume  to  request  Mr.  Southey's  accept- 
ance of  the  insignificant  little  volume  which  accompanies  this 
letter,  had  I  any  better  means  of  testifying  my  grateful  sense 
of  his  various  kindnesses  to  me.  As  it  is,  I  offer  it  with  the 
thankful  acknowledgment  that,  faulty  as  the  poem  still  is, 
it  would  have  been  much  more  so  but  for  Mr.  Southey's  advice 
and  critical  remarks.  Last,  but  not  least,  let  me  thank  you, 
my  dear  sir,  more  intelligibly  at  least  than  I  could  do  viva  voce, 
for  your  goodness  in  coming  to  see  me  at  this  place :  to  confess 
the  truth,  I  derive  more  pleasure  from  the  reflection  that  I  am 
become  personally  acquainted  with  you  than  I  did  at  the  actual 
making  of  that  acquaintance,  for  then  I  found  that  all  I  had 
meant  and  wished  to  say  was  clean  vanished,  and  that  I  had 
only  your  charity  (and  penetration  perhaps)  to  trust  to  for  not 
setting  me  down  as  an  unthankful  and  insensible  idiot.  It  is 
not  with  me  that  "  out  of  the  abundance  of  the  heart  the  mouth 

I  leave  town  in  a  few  days,  and  I  shall  give  directions  that 
this  parcel  may  be  sent  to  Keswick  in  a  fortnight,  by  which 
time  you  also,  I  suppose,  will  have  returned  to  your  dear 

I  have  not  forgotten  that  Mr.  Southey  promised  to  write  to 
me  thence ;  I  hope  he  has  not  forgotten  it.  You  will  see  that 
Messrs.  Longman  have  thought  it  expedient  to  christen  my 
poem  "Ellen  Fitzarthur":  they  said  the  other  name  was  too 
pastoral,  and  I  cared  little  about  the  title,  so  Miss  Fitz  is  their 

Believe  me, 

My  dear  sir, 
Most  thankfully  and  truly  yours, 

c  2 




KESWICK,  February  132A,  1821. 

I  thank  you  for  your  book  and  your  drawing.  They 
arrived  this  evening.  I  have  been  intending  and  intending 
to  write  to  you  ever  since  my  return  home  in  July,  and  more 
especially  since  I  got  your  poem  in  November,  to  have  told 
you  then  how  well  I  liked  it  in  print,  and  how  much  it  was 
admired  by  the  reading  part  of  my  family.  But  you  know 
what  becomes  of  good  intentions — the  devil  is  said  to  pave  his 
dominions  with  them,  and,  if  it  be  so,  I  have  furnished  him 
with  as  many  materials  as  most  men.  My  excuse  must  be 
not  so  much  the  number  of  my  own  employments  as  the  nume- 
rous interruptions  to  which  I  am  liable,  during  part  of  the 
year,  from  unexpected  visitors,  and  all  the  year  long  from 
persons  at  a  distance  who,  with  or  without  reason,  write  to  me 
upon  all  imaginable  and  unimaginable  subjects :  one  man,  for 
instance,  requests  an  acrostic  for  his  mistress,  and  another  con- 
sults me  upon  a  scheme  for  paying  off  the  national  debt.  My 
collection  of  such  letters  is  not  a  little  curious.  The  evil  is,  that 
in  replying  to  them,  either  for  the  sake  of  getting  rid  of  the 
application,  or  in  mere  courtesy,  or  in  the  kinder  mood  which 
those  of  a  better  kind  excite,  things  which  I  ought  and  designed 
to  do  are  left  undone,  time  passes  over,  and  the  arrears  become 
like  a  prodigal's  debts,  irksome  to  remember,  because  they  are 
too  heavy  to  be  cleared  off. 

I  wish  I  could  have  seen  you  again  at  Chelsea ;  but  my  very 
minutes  were  numbered  while  I  was  in  and  about  London,  nor 
did  I  ever  feel  anything  like  a  sense  of  rest  from  the  time  I 
entered  it  till  I  got  into  the  mail-coach  on  my  return.  I  heard 
of  you  once  from  Dr.  Thomas,  who  is  an  old  friend  of  my 
family.  I  saw  such  an  account  of  your  poems  as  it  was  grati- 
fying to  see  in  the  New  Monthly  Magazine,  and  I  did  what  I 


could  to  recommend  it  for  such  notice  as  it  deserved  in  another 
quarter,  where  the  will  must  be  taken  for  the  deed. 

Your  stanzas  upon  the  King's  death  are  very  good,  both  in 
thought,  feeling,  and  expression.  So  are  the  lines  upon  the 
Proclamation.  I  do  not  see  anything  to  censure.  Go  on  with 
your  blank- verse  poem  :  if  I  am  not  deceived,  the  subject  will 
secure  for  it  a  favourable  acceptance,  relating  as  it  does  to  feel- 
ings which  will  find  sympathy  in  every  kind  heart.  I  need 
not  tell  you  that  when  you  read  contemporary  poets  the  best 
thing  you  can  learn  from  them  is  to  avoid  their  peculiarities, 
and  their  mannerisms,  and  their  affectations — in  one  word,  their 
faults  ;  but  you  are  in  no  danger  of  catching  them. 

I  am  publishing  an  experimental  poem,*  which  Longman 
will  send  you  as  soon  as  it  comes  forth — in  the  course  of  a  fort- 
night probably.  It  is  written  in  hexameters,  the  heroic  measure 
of  the  ancients.  Do  not  trouble  yourself  with  the  explanation 
of  its  principle  in  the  preface,  but  read  it  as  you  would  verse  of 
any  other  kind,  and  you  will  soon  feel  and  find  the  rhythm. 
The  subject  is  the  late  King's  death ;  considering  that  I  might 
be  expected,  as  a  matter  of  duty,  to  write  upon  it,  I  chose  to 
do  it  in  this  form. 

You  and  I  must  be  better  acquainted  personally  ;  you  must 
become  acquainted  with  my  wife  and  daughter.  Our  spare 
room  will  be  filled  this  summer ;  but  next  year  we  shall  be 
very  glad  if  you  will  let  us  show  you  this  neighbourhood,  if 
we  may  dare  to  look  on  so  long ! 

Farewell,  and  believe  me, 

Yours  very  truly, 


A  Vision  of  Judgment." 



February  Uth,  1821. 

I  forgot,  when  writing  yesterday,  to  thank  you  for  the 
drawing,  and  for  the  feeling  which  induced  you  to  send  it. 
I  know  the  spot  well,  and  the  poplar  tree ;  but  among  the 
nearest  buildings  are  some  high,  tower-like  chimneys,  which 
look  as  if  they  belonged  to  a  manufactory,  and  which,  I  think, 
have  been  erected  since  my  time.  For  my  recollections  of 
Bristol  are  in  the  eighteenth  year  of  their  age — a  large  part 
of  human  life !  Were  I  to  visit  that  city  now  I  should  walk 
its  streets  like  a  stranger,  and  scarcely  meet  one  person  whom 
I  remembered  or  who  would  remember  me.  When  my  poem 
reaches  you,  you  will  see  that  I  do  not  think  of  Bristol  without 
a  natural  feeling. 

I  please  myself  in  thinking  what  pleasure  you  will  have  in 
sketching  here,  where,  if  you  have  never  been  fairly  in  a  moun- 
tainous country,  you  will  feel  yourself  almost  in  a  new  world. 

Yours  very  truly, 



BUCKLAND,  March  16th,  1821. 

The  blank  verse  poem  with  which  you  encourage  me  to 
proceed  has  extended  itself  to  twice  the  length  of  what  you 
read;  but  the  calm  current  of  thought  necessary  to  the  con- 
tinuance of  such  a  subject  has  been  violently  broken  in  on  with 


me  this  winter — first,  by  a  very  serious  alarm  (a  fire  which 
burst  out  after  dark  in  my  lonely  little  dwelling),  and  subse- 
quently by  a  low  fever,  which  unstrung  my  nerves  and  unfitted 
me  for  everything.  During  the  last  month  I  have  amused 
myself  by  collecting  and  arranging  various  little  tales  and 
scraps  composed  within  the  last  two  years.  These  I  am  about 
to  offer  to  Longman,  and,  if  he  will  take  them,  shall  be  well 
satisfied  with  the  transient  interest  and  employment  of  thought 
the  publication  will  afford  me  (a  harmless  interest,  I  hope,  if 
not  a  wise  one),  without  looking  or  hoping  much  further. 
Longman,  however,  may  be  of  a  very  different  opinion,  and 
not  choose  to  print  solely  with  a  view  to  my  amusement. 

You  hold  out  to  me  a  gilded  bait — yet  not  so — a  delightful 
hope  I  should  call  it — if  I  dared  look  on  to  next  year,  next 
summer.  To  visit  you  in  your  own  world  of  lakes  and  moun- 
tains !  to  become  really  acquainted  with  you,  with  your  family  ! 
How  I  should  long  for  such  pleasure,  if  I  had  not  almost  left 
off  longing  for  anything,  if  I  dared  look  forward  beyond  the 
springing  up  or  flowering  of  the  annuals  I  am  now  sowing  in 
my  little  flower-garden.  Sometimes,  in  a  sunshiny  mood  of 
the  mind,  I  say  to  myself,  "  "Well,  but  who  knows  ? — perhaps  " 
— and  then  I  stop,  and  the  wide  interval  of  time  and  distance 
spreads  drearily  before  me,  not  impassably,  however,  and  I  will 
hope  for  once. 

Is  there  any  chance  of  your  being  in  town  this  spring  ?  I 
must  be  there  malgrd,  bon  gre,  but  have  nothing  agreeable 
in  anticipation,  except  a  sight  of  Haydon's  picture.  Surely 
you,  who  have  half  a  hundred  other  works  in  the  press,  must 
have  business  in  London. 

Accept  my  grateful  thanks,  and  believe  me, 

Very  sincerely  yours, 




KESWICK,  February  9th,  1822. 

Thank  you  for  your  little  volume:*  I  received  it  yesterday 
evening.  It  was  with  pleasure  that  I  saw  it  advertised,  and 
with  more  pleasure  that  I  saw  it  turn  up  among  the  contents  of 
a  heavy  parcel.  Have  I  perused  it  with  pleasure  ?  Both  with 
as  much  pleasure  and  as  much  pain  as  you  have  wished  to 
excite.  And  whether  most  to  find  fault  with  you  for  choosing 
such  deeply  tragic  subjects,  or  to  praise  you  for  the  manner  in 
which  you  have  treated  them,  I  know  not. 

For  the  execution,  it  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  you  have 
become  such  a  poetess  as  I  believed  and  hoped  from  the  first. 
You  have  the  ear  and  the  eye  and  the  heart  of  poetry,  and  you 
have  them  in  perfection.  Had  this  volume  appeared  thirty 
years  ago,  England  would  have  rung  from  side  to  side  with  its 
praises.  And  gay  as  the  flower-market  now  is,  take  my  word 
for  it,  it  will  flourish  when  all  the  annuals  of  the  season  have 

William  and  Jean  would,  to  my  judgment,  have  made  two 
poems  with  advantage.  The  picture  is  like  all  your  pictures — 
true  and  finely  coloured  by  itself;  but  it  is  too  cheerful,  too 
happy,  for  the  tale  which  follows.  Your  tragedy  is  always  in 
the  right  tone,  having  with  it  the  true  and  only  balm.  Yet  it 
is  too  painful.  I  feel  it  to  be  so,  and  in  this  respect  I  may 
judge  of  others  by  myself.  We  are  less  able  to  bear  these 
emotions  as  we  advance  in  years.  Youth  courts  them,  because 
youth  has  happiness,  as  well  as  health  and  spirits,  in  excess. 
But  at  my  time  of  life  tranquillity  is  the  treasure  of  the  mind, 
and,  if  it  must  be  broken,  more  willingly  would  I  have  it  done 

*  "  The  Widow's  Tale,  and  other  Poems." 


"by  comedy  or  farce,  that  makes  the  sides  ache,  than  by  anything 
which  exacts  a  heartache  for  imaginary  distress,  especially  with 
such  possible  and  actual  scenes  as  that  of  your  Editha — per- 
haps the  more  painful  to  me  because  I  have  a  daughter  of  that 

Give  us,  I  entreat  you,  a  picture  in  summer  and  sunshine — 
a  tale  that  in  its  progress  and  termination  shall  answer  to  the 
wishes  of  the  reader.  Make  the  creatures  of  your  imagination 
as  happy  as  you  would  make  them  if  they  were  real  beings, 
whose  fortunes  depended  upon  your  will ;  your  poem  will  then 
be  read  again  and  again  with  delight.  You  will  please  more 
readers,  and  please  them  more.  It  is  a  road  to  popular  favour 
which  has  not  been  tried  in  this  country,  and  it  is  a  sure  one. 
Goethe  and  Yoss  have  found  it  so  in  Germany ;  and  I  speak 
sincerely  when  I  express  my  belief  that  you  can  produce  as  fine 
a  poem  as  the  "  Hermann  and  Dorothea,"  or  the  "  Luise." 

It  is  better  for  yourself,  too,  to  dwell  upon  happier  themes ;" 
you  have  no  such  exuberance  of  health  and  spirits  that  you  can 
afford  with  impunity  to  shed  so  many  tears  as  these  poems  must 
have  cost  you. 

I  must  not  forget  to  mention  the  "  Sea  of  Life,"  which  is 
throughout  in  a  fine  tone,  both  of  feeling  and  versification.  In 
p.  95,  you  should  have  written  "  ignes  fatui" ;  but  marsh-fires 
would  be  better,  if  the  word  marshes  did  not  occur  in  the  next 

And  now  let  me  ask  how  you  are  ?  That  you  are  in 
the  sure  way  to  reputation,  and  that  of  no  mean  degree  or 
transitory  kind,  you  must  yourself  know  ;  and  that  feeling  will 
encourage  you  in  a  forward  pursuit.  I  think  you  are  right  in 
withholding  your  name.  There  is  an  advantage  in  exciting 
curiosity ;  and  sometimes  a  comfort  in  privacy,  which  one  is 
not  sensible  of  till  it  is  lost. 

I  shall  send  you  my  "  Book  of  the  Church  "  as  soon  as  it  is 
published.  You  will  go  with  it  in  feeling,  and  find  in  it,  I 
think,  something  that  will  interest  you.  But  do  not  wait  for 
it  to  let  me  hear  from  you,  for  it  will  not  be  ready  in  less  than 


three  or  four  months.  I  am  fastened  to  my  desk  by  many 
employments ;  but  well  both  in  myself  and  in  my  family  (God 
be  thanked),  and  no  ways  disturbed  by  such  enemies  as  Lord 
Byron.  God  bless  you. 

Yours  faithfully, 



KESWICK,  July  7,  1822. 

I  have  just  received  a  letter  from  Bowles,  in  which  he  says : 
"  You  mention  my  namesake,  Caroline.  If  you  write,  do- 
make  my  warmest  congratulations  known  to  her.  Have  I  read 
'  Ellen  Fitzarthur '  ?  There  was  only  one  copy  .in  Bath ; 
no  one  read  a  word  of  it ;  no  one  thought  of  buying  it ;  no 
one  spoke  of  it.  I  was  the  first  in  this  neighbourhood  to  bring 
it  into  notice.  I  spoke  to  everyone  with  the  utmost  warmth  of 
it,  as  deeply  affecting  in  story,  and  beautiful  in  genuine  lan- 
guage of  poetry.  I  trumpeted  it  to  Lord  and  Lady  Lans- 
downe,  Miss  Fox,  and  all  the  literati  of  Bowood ;  and,  without 
knowing  the  name,  I  flatter  myself  I  contributed  in  some 
degeee  to  its  more  general  notice  among  some  distinguished 
ornaments  of  taste  and  literature.  I  should  be  happy  to  know 
Caroline,  and  more  to  think  her  a  relation.  I  think  a  poeiu  so 
remote  from  the  golden-silvery-diamond-alabaster-Pontypool- 
style  of  the  present  Cockney  race  of  dandy  poetasters  cannot 
be  too  much  noticed;  and  I  am  rejoiced  the  real  touches  o£ 
nature  and  passion  have  awakened  attention." 

Thus  far  Bowles,  and  in  a  postscript  he  adds,  "  I  think 
I  shall  write  a  note  to  Caroline,  with  my  poem." 

If  authorship  in  its  notoriety  brings  with  it  some  evils,  they 
are  overpaid  where  there  is  desert  by  a  large  portion  of  good. 


I  owe  to  it  not  merely  many  pleasant  acquaintances,  but  some 
valuable  friends,  and  you  will  reap  the  same  fruits.  My  quesx- 
tion  to  Bowles  was  concerning  your  last  volume,  as  well  as 
"  Ellen  Fitzarthur " ;  if  he  has  not  seen  it,  he  will  look  for 
it  now,  and  he  will  find  there  all  that  he  found  in  the  former 
publication,  and  more,  I  have  shown  it  to  many  persons,  and 
in  no  one  instance  have  I  been  disappointed  of  seeing  it  pro- 
duce the  effect  which  I  expected. 

I  have  a  friend*  with  me  now  whom  I  have  not  seen  since 
we  parted  at  College,  eight-and-twenty  years  ago,  though  our 
occasional  communication  by  letter  had  never  been  interrupted. 
We  parted  just  as  we  were  commencing  men,  with  the  world 
before  us ;  and  we  meet  just  at  that  time  of  life  when  age  and 
decay  are  beginning  to  make  themselves  felt.  You  can  better 
feel  what  the  feelings  of  such  a  meeting  are  than  I  could  ex- 
press them.  I  should  not  have  recognized  him,  so  much  is  he 
changed :  he  says  he  should  have  known  me  anywhere.  We 
have  been  comparing  notes,  and  find  our  hearts  and  views  just 
as  much  in  unison  as  they  were  when  we  literally  lived  together 
at  College;  for  we  breakfasted  together  every  morning,  read 
together,  and  passed  every  evening  together.  In  this  respect 
I  have  been  peculiarly  fortunate,  that  most  of  my  friendships 
have  been  formed  for  eternity,  and  grown  stronger  as  they 
have  grown  older. 

There  is  a  very  bad  translation  of  "Hermann  and  Doro- 
thea," by  Holcroft,  but  it  would  show  you  the  plan  of  the 
poem.  The  original,  I  am  told,  is  a  finished  piece  of  versifi- 
cation; the  translation  is  meant  for  blank  verse,  by  a  man 
who  was  no  poet,  and  did  not  understand  the  common  rules  of 

You  mention  Shelley:   I  should  like  to   show  you   some' 
letters  which  passed  between  that  wretched  man  and  me  about 
two  years  ago.     He  came  to  this  place  with  his  wife  imme- 
diately after  his  marriage ;  I  saw  a  good  deal  of  him  then,  and 

*  Lightfoot. 


hoped  that  he  would  outgrow  the  insane  opinions  which  had 
their  root,  as  I  then  thought,  in  mere  ignorance,  not  in  a  cor- 
rupted heart  and  will.  And  I  know  a  great  deal  of  his  ac- 
cursed history  since. 

How  are  you  ?  and  what  are  you  doing  ?  I  have  been  very 
much  out  of  order.  A  cold,  which  comes  regularly  every  year 
with  the  summer,  and  continues  ten  or  twelve  weeks,  has  this 
year  attacked  my  chest ;  and,  though  materially  better,  I  can- 
not yet  say  that  it  is  fairly  dislodged.  I  shall  soon  have  a 
volume  of  the  "  Peninsular  War  "  abroad ;  a  noble  story,  whichr" 
will  set  foul  tongues  railing,  while  it  makes  sound  hearts  throb 
with  generous  emotions.  My  "  Book  of  the  Church "  will 
speedily  follow  it. 

God  bless  you,  sister-poetess.     I  have  a  right  to  call  you 
so,  though  I  cannot  look  for  a  relationship,  like  Bowles. 

Yours  truly, 




BUCKLAND,  July  nth,  1822. 

I  was  much  gratified  by  the  passage  you  were  so  good  as  to 
communicate  to  me  from  Mr.  Bowles's  letter.  Could  I  fail  to 
be  so  at  such  encomiums  from  one  so  gifted  ?  But  the  kind- 
ness of  heart  which  impelled  you  to  impart  so  promptly  what 
you  knew  would  give  pleasure,  that  I  felt  most  sensibly,  for  in 
truth  I  need  it  most. 

The  volume  you  half  announced  to  me  arrived  shortly  after 
your  letter.  I  write  by  to-day's  post  to  thank  the  author  for 
his  valuable  and  valued  gift ;  but  I  have  charged  him  with  the 
fact  of  rejecting  me  as  a  kinswoman  in  days  of  yore,  when  I — 


an  aspiring  little  damsel — was  fain  to  claim  relationship  with 
the  author  of  the  "  Sonnet s." 

Even  as  I  wrote  that  jesting  reproach,  the  thought  came  to 
my  mind,  "  How  different  a  creature  I  might  have  been,  of 
how  much  better  things  I  might  have  been  capable,  had  my 
earlier  path  in  life  been  gilded  with  that  degree  of  encourage- 
ment which  now  falls  upon  me — now,  when  my  days  on  earth 
seem  so  nearly  numbered."  Yes,  I  have  been  very  ill,  with 
repeated  attacks  in  the  head,  each  succeeding  one  increasing  in 
seriousness  and  continuance,  and  yielding  only  to  such  violent 
remedies  as  shake  almost  to  dissolution  the  fragile  frame,  at 
least,  seemingly  not  built  up  for  duration.  This  affection  of 
the  head  is,  I  am  told,  more  symptomatic  of  general  debility, 
and  consequent  derangement  of  the  nervous  system,  than  in 
itself  a  primary  complaint ;  but  it  is  not  on  that  account  the 
less  terrible  to  endure.  I  had  almost  said  it  is  worse  than 
pain ;  but  that  would  be  a  thankless,  a  presumptuous  assertion, 
when  He  who  knoweth  best  what  is  best  for  me  is  pleased  to 
exempt  me  from  severe  suffering.  It  is  an  almost  total  loss  of 
memory,  a  confusion  of  ideas,  a  deprivation  of  all  comprehen- 
sive power,  with  such  a  darkness  of  spirit  as  would,  indeed, 
"turn  my  day  into  night,"  were  it  not  for  the  one  heavenly 
ray  that  pierceth  all  darkness.  All  this  comes  upon  me, 
accompanied  by  an  apprehensive  weight  and  giddiness  that, 
while  it  lasts,  incapacitates  me  for  all  mental  and  bodily  exer- 
tion, and  the  least  attempt  at  the  latter  so  accelerates  the  pulsa- 
tion of  the  heart  as  to  make  every  throb  dreadfully  distressing. 
So  long  an  answer  must  I  give  to  your  simple  question,  "  How 
are  you?" 

It  is  scarce  necessary,  in  reply  to  your  other  question,  to 
add,  that  I  am  about  nothing.  When  the  dark  hour  is  on  me, 
I  can  hardly  see,  hear,  or  understand ;  when  it  passes  away,  for 
a  few  days,  a  week,  or  fortnight,  I  enjoy  the  mere  feeling  of 
unopprest  existence  so  exquisitely,  that  freely  to  breathe  the 
blessed  air,  steadily  to  gaze  on  the  fleet  clouds  and  waving 
branches,  to  tread  firmly  on  the  earth,  to  comprehend  what  I 


read  and  hear,  is  enough  for  me,  and  I  am  too  happy  to  be 
a  very  idler.  And  then  I  dare  not  look  forward  to  better 
things,  lest  the  anticipation  of  evil  to  come  should  follow  in 
the  train  of  thought,  and  cloud  my  little  moment  of  sunshine. 
I  have  but  too  much  reason  for  sad  anticipation.  My  father 
I  recollect  to  have  been  affected  as  I  am.  I  recollect  the  dread- 
ful intervals  of  gloom  that  came  upon  him,  lasting  for  weeks, 
for  months,  and  finally  terminating  in  fits  that  wore  away  his 
mental  power,  and  left  only  the  bodily  wreck  to  be  dissolved 
by  a  paralytic  seizure.  I  recollect,  too,  how  often  he  used  to 
look  mournfully  on  me  (always  a  little  nervous,  delicate  crea- 
ture), and  say  "  My  poor  child,  you  resemble  me  too  much  in 
all  things."  When  those  words  were  spoken,  I  wondered  at 
them;  now  they  are  but  too  intelligible  to  me.  It  is  a  piti- 
able weakness,  I  feel,  to  reveal  to  you  so  gloomy  a  picture; 
but  in  doing  so  I  relieve  a  very  heavy  heart,  and  yours  is 
not  one  that  will  turn  away  in  contempt  and  weariness  from 
the  sorrow  and  infirmities  of  poor  human  nature.  Now  and 
then,  during  a  sunny  interval  (and,  thank  God,  the  natural 
brightness  of  my  spirit  still  shines  out  at  such  times),  I  com- 
pose a  few  scraps  of  verse  or  prose,  most  of  which  remain 
incomplete,  and  a  few  find  their  way  to  Blackwood — all  idle 

nothings.     If  I  should  live  and  get  better,  ;   but  (rod's 

will  be  done  ! 

I  wish  (what  signifies  a  hundred  or  two  more  miles  when 
one  sets  about  wishing)  that  there  were  a  chance  of  your  re- 
visiting Hampshire.  I  should  have  a  neat,  quiet  chamber  at 
your  service  and  Mrs.  Southey's — a  homely  but  most  sincere 
welcome — and  you  are  not  a  person  to  think  scorn  of  such 
things.  I  do  not  like  to  think  we  shall  meet  no  more  in  this 

Grod  bless  you  in  your  health,  in  your  family,  in  your 
undertakings.  Claim  kindred  with  me  as  you  will,  I  will 
gratefully  admit  the  title. 

Ever  yours  truly, 



Do  you  know  (how  should  you)  that  in  a  soi  disant  literary 
circle  poor  "  Ellen  Fitzarthur  "  has  been  claimed  by  a  gentle- 
man as  "the  work  of  his  particular  friend  Mrs.  Hayman"? 
He  was  "  authorized  to  say  so."  Much  good  may  it  do  them. 
I  never  saw  this  man,  who  writes,  I  believe,  for  some  periodical 
work,  and  was  joint  editor  of  one ;  but  I  suspect  I  offended  him 
once  by  declining  the  honour  of  his  proffered  acquaintance. 
He  does  me  too  much  honour  now.  Shall  you  contribute  to 
Joanna  Baillie's  projected  miscellany  ?  I  popped  upon  you  the 
other  day  unexpectedly  in  a  volume  of  Hogg's  works. 


BUCKLAND,  August  Qth,  1822. 

I  have  just  finished  the  first  volume  of  a  very  mischievous 
book,  which,  however,  as  far  as  I  can  judge,  carries  its  own 
antidote  along  with  it.  I  allude  to  O'Meara's  "  Yoice  from 
St.  Helena."  Were  I  a  worshipper  of  Buonaparte,  bitterly 
should  I  accuse  the  rashness  which  has  torn  away  the  veil 
from  that  gigantic  idol,  and  exposed  the  inherent  weakness 
of  its  composition.  Present  and  future  generations  must  call 
Napoleon  an  extraordinary  man ;  but  will  any  rational  crea- 
ture, after  reading  O'Meara's  book,  affirm  that  he  is  a  great 
one?  The  downfall  of  his  huge  fabric  of  ambition,  the  de- 
struction of  his  armies,  the  loss  of  empire,  all  seem  to  have 
affected  him  but  in  a  trifling  degree,  in  comparison  with  the 
restraints  and  inconveniences  incident  to  his  captive  state.  He 
would  have  preferred,  one  could  almost  persuade  oneself,  one 
petty  triumph  over  Sir  Hudson  Lowe  to  a  victory  over  the 
Duke  of  Wellington  and  all  the  armies  of  Europe.  But  that 
Sir  Hudson  ! — he  was  a  true  gaoler — something,  in  truth,  of 


a  "  Sbirro  Siciliano,"  harassed  and  teased  to  death,  no  doubt, 
by  the  humours  and  intrigues  of  the  Longwood  captive  and 
his  motley  court;  but  still  he  had  no  command  over  his  own 
temper,  and  seems,  indeed,  to  have  been  wanting  to  himself 
as  a  gentleman  and  an  officer.  Buonaparte,  in  one  of  his 
conversations  with  O'Meara,  endeavours  to  refute  one  of  the 
stories  which  had  gone  abroad  of  him  in  his  early  youth — 
the  seduction  and  poisoning  of  a  young  girl,  while  he  was  a 
student  in  his  first  pension.  I  am  well  acquainted  with  a 
French  officer,  a  Baron  de  Gomer,  who  was  a  fellow-student 
of  Napoleon's  at  the  same  college,  and  remembers  every  par- 
ticular of  that  horrible  affair,  in  which  the  young  Corsican 
was  as  guilty  as  he  is  said  to  have  been.  First,  before  that 
flagitious  act,  he  had  committed  one  less  glaringly  atrocious, 
indeed,  but  equally  indicative  of  a  cold  and  callous  nature. 
He  had  no  friend  at  college  but  a  dog,  who  shared  his  meals 
and  his  bed,  and  on  whom  all  the  human  kindness  of  his 
nature  seemed  to  expend  itself.  This  dog  stole .  one  day  a 
piece  of  cake  which  Napoleon  had  laid  aside  for  a  future  re- 
gale. He  caught  the  animal  in  the  act,  but  did  not  even 
disturb  his  proceedings,  nor  further  notice  the  step  than  by 
saying,  Ah  ha,  mon  ami,  tu  me  paiera  cela.  Young  De  Gomer, 
with  some  others  of  his  comrades,  saw  the  transaction,  and  won- 
dered at  Napoleon's  indifference,  but  were  almost  transis  d'hor- 
reur,  when,  on  passing  through  the  courts  the  next  morning, 
they  found  the  poor  dog  tied  up,  still  living,  against  a  tree, 
and  Napoleon  very  deliberately  employed  in  flaying  off  his 
skin.  On  seeing  their  horror  and  astonishment,  he  only  smil- 
ingly observed,  J'ai  bien  dit  qu'il  me  le  paierait.  The  person 
who  told  me  these  anecdotes  is  a  man  of  unimpeachable  vera- 

Very  truly  yours, 




BUCKLED,  October  18th,  1823. 

The  first  feeling  that  with  me,  and  with  most  persons,  I 
should  think,  succeeds  the  painful  one  of  parting  from  a  friend 
is  an  impatient  inclination  to  write  to  him,  and  if  I  had 
obeyed  that  impulse  you  would  have  heard  from  me  from 
Ambleside.  But  sometimes  (not  always)  sober  afterthought 
restrains  these  foolish  impulses  of  mine,  and  so  you  were  de- 
prived of  the  very  interesting  information  that  I  was  sitting 
all  forlorn  in  a  dull  inn  room,  regretting  Keswick  with  all 
my  heart,  and  prevented  by  an  incessant  pouring  rain  from 
exploring,  as  I  had  hoped,  some  of  the  lovely  scenery  about 
Bydal  and  Grrasmere.  Nay,  so  pensive  is  my  temper,  every 
hour  which  diminished  my  chance  of  visiting  Rydal  Mount 
increased  my  inclination  to  deliver  there  the  ticket  with  which 
you  had  provided  me,  though  the  evening  before  I  had  felt 
as  if  such  daring  would  be  utterly  impossible.  Just  as  we 
reached  Eydal  that  evening,  Mr.  Wordsworth  himself,  and 
all  his  family  I  believe,  came  to  meet  the  coach,  and  waited 
long  beside  it,  while  some  parcel  they  were  in  expectation 
of  was  searched  for,  during  all  which  time  I  very  wisely 
shrunk  back  in  my  corner,  instead  of  bowing  to  Mr.  Words- 
worth, as  I  ought  to  have  done,  having  been  introduced  to 
him  in  your  house.  Hoping,  hoping,  hour  after  hour,  that 
the  sun  might  shine  upon  me  for  a  brief  interval,  I  stayed  on 
at  the  inn  till  Saturday  evening,  and  then,  yielding  to  my 
fate,  came  on  to  Kendal.  It  was  growing  dusk  when  I  left 
Ambleside,  and  just  as  I  lost  sight  of  its  grey  walls  and 
roofs,  when  the  black  ridges  of  the  mountains  (the  gates  of 
your  Eden)  seemed  closing  upon  me,  very  vivid  flashes  of 
lightning  streamed  up  from  behind  them,  succeeded  by  some 
loud  thunder-claps.  At  Keswick  you  know  I  had  been  long- 
ing to  hear  the  sound  of  thunder  amongst  the  mountains ; 


but  on  leaving  your  happy  valleys  I  almost  fancied  "Come 
no  more"  was  audible  to  me  in  those  solemn  reverberations. 
My  homeward  journey  was  safe,  and  as  little  disagree- 
able as  possible,  considering  the  circumstance  of  finding  no 
coach  ready  to  start  for  Leeds  obliged  me  once  more  to  tra- 
verse the  country  of  the  "  Yahoos,"  and  to  rest  in  their  un- 
holy habitations.  Tuesday  night  brought  me  safe  to  beautiful 
Oxford ;  and  on  Wednesday  evening  I  stepped  once  more  over 
the  threshold  of  my  quiet  little  home,  and  was  welcomed  by 
my  dear  old  nurse,  with  such  a  welcome  as  those  only  can 
bestow  to  whom  we  are  objects  of  exclusive  affection. 

Dog,  cats,  and  poney,  all  in  their  several  fashions,  testi- 
fied great  joy  at  sight  of  me,  and  my  old  woman  half  in- 
sinuated that  the  very  flowers — some  of  them — had  put  off 
blowing  till  my  return.  I  got  over  the  fatigue  of  the  jour- 
ney marvellously,  considering  that,  from  the  time  I  left  Kes- 
wick  till  last  night,  I  never  obtained  one  hour's  quiet  sleep, 
such  a  wakeful  restless  spirit  sometimes  possesses  me.  Till 
to-day  I  have  been  unable  to  reach  the  town  and  bank,  con- 
sequently, to  forward  to  you  one  half  of  the  note  for  the 
loan  of  which  I  am  indebted  to  your  kind  consideration.  It 
did  me  good  service,  for  part  of  my  travelling  exchequer  was 
in  old-fashioned  guineas,  and  the  people  at  the  inns,  &c., 
demurred  about  their  weight  and  value,  while  your  Bank  of 
England  was  a  passe  partout.  The  note  I  expected  at  Kes- 
wick  has  not  been  forwarded  thither,  so,  according  to  your 
direction,  I  forward  the  first  payment  of  my  debt,  much 
rejoicing  that  your  acknowledgement  of  it  (which  I  am  to 
await  before  I  transmit  the  other  half)  will  insure  me  the 
pleasure  of  soon  hearing  from  you. 

I  have  been  amongst  you  to-day,  enjoying  with  redoubled 
zest  what  I  once  thought  nothing  could  increase  my  delight 
in — the  introduction  to  your  "  Poet's  Pilgrimage."  How  often 
I  shall  be  in  spirit  in  the  midst  of  you,  and  revisiting  with  you 
some  of  those  enchanting  spots  to  which  you  were  my  con- 
ductor. To  each  and  every  member  of  your  happy  circle  I 
send  greeting  warm  and  grateful ;  in  particular,  pray  offer 


my  best  regards  and  thanks  to  Mrs.  Southey.  Tell  Cuthbert 
my  peerless  Donna  sends  health  to  the  magnificent  B-umpel— 
•"that  terrible  cat  with  the  terrible  name,"  far  more  unpro- 
nouncable  than  Tchitchigoff. 

Pray  convey  a  few  more  remembrances  from  me — to  the 
Ladies  of  the  Lakes,  if  they  are  still  sojourning  amongst 
you.  Amongst  a  thousand  things  I  should  like  to  learn  of 
you — alas !  unteachable  things — is  the  art  of  saying  much  in 
few  words ;  but  I  suppose  a  woman's  ink  is  like  her  volu- 

"  A  stream  that  murmuring  flows,  and  flows  for  ever." 

Hardly  a  drop  of  rain  have  I  seen  since  I  left  Westmore- 
land. I  had  almost  said  "  how  provoking."  Selfish  crea- 
ture that  I  am — not  dissatisfied,  however, — for  I  saw  and 
enjoyed  much,  very  much;  and  had  I  not  done  so,  to  have 
become  acquainted  with  your  family,  and  more  thoroughly 
with  yourself,  would  have  made  me  ample  amends ;  may  I  not 
say,  to  have  acquired  the  privilege  of  calling  you  friend? 

Most  gratefully  and  truly  yours, 


How  much  I  am  surprised  and  mortified  at  that  intem- 
perate and  unfair  letter  addressed  to  you  in  The  London  by 
my  old  favourite  Elia !  I  little  suspected  such  gall  and  worm- 
wood entered  into  the  composition  of  one  whose  gentle  nature 
seemed  to  me  so  greatly  to  assimilate  with  that  of  Izaac  Wal- 
ton. But  his  anger  is  intemperate,  because  it  is  causeless ; 
and  I  can  almost  see  that  in  his  heart  he  is  ashamed  of  the 
pair  whose  cause  he  espouses  so  warmly. 



KESWICK,  October  22nd,  1823. 

Thank  you  for  following  my  directions  in  halving  the  note ; 
I  shall  gain  by  it  another  letter ;  and  yet  the  advice  was  given 
in  sober  prudence,  and  not  with  that  selfish  purpose.  I  am 
heartily  glad  that  you  have  reached  home  safely,  and  with  so 
few  disagreeables  on  the  way,  that  the  fear  of  such  a  journey 
will  not  stand  in  the  way  of  your  repeating  it ;  for  I  will  not 
believe  that  you  have  taken  leave  of  these  mountains  for  ever. 
You  must  not  talk  of  sunset  pleasures  yet.  Your  evening  is 
far  distant ;  and  many  such  pleasures  as  this  country  can 
afford  (they  are  not  light  ones)  are  in  store,  I  hope,  both  for 
you  and  for  me.  If  you  are  half  as  desirous  of  partaking 
them  again  as  I  am  that  you  should  do  so,  the  difficulties  in  the 
way  will  only  be  thought  of  with  the  view  of  overcoming 
them.  Whatever  we  may  think  of  dreams,  you  will  allow 
that  day-dreams  may  have  some  truth  in  them,  and  you  have 
borne  no  small  part  in  mine  since  your  departure.  These  at 
least  may  bring  about  their  accomplishment. 

On  the  day  you  reached  Oxford  we  effected  our  Watenlath 
excursion.  Go  whither  I  will  among  these  lakes  and  moun- 
tains, I  have  more  ghosts  than  Sir  Thomas  More  to  accompany 
me ;  there  is  scarcely  a  spot  but  brings  with  it  some  indelible 
recollection  of  those  whom  I  have  loved  and  lost.  But  the 
predominant  feeling  on  this  day  was  regret  that  you  were  not 
with  us.  Since  then  I  have  been  close  at  work,  preparing  for 
my  departure,  and  yet,  after  all,  I  must  take  with  me  work  to 
finish  at  Streatham.  We  set  out  on  Monday,  November  3rd. 
Edith  and  I  shall  leave  the  Ladies  of  the  Island  at  Derby,  and 
go  to  Sir  George  Beaumont's,  at  Cole-Orton,  near  Ashby-de-la- 
Zouch,  for  two  or  three  days :  probably  we  shall  reach  London 
on  the  15th.  From  thence  you  shall  hear  of  my  movements. 
I  have  a  wide  way  to  travel,  and  the  sunniest  spot  in  the 
prospect  is  the  New  Forest. 


Lamb's  letter  I  have  not  seen,  and  your  account  of  it  is  the 
first  intimation  which  I  have  received  of  its  temper.  It  will 
not  disturb  mine.  I  am  sorry  that  he  should  have  acted  thus 
rashly  and  unreasonably ;  but  no  infirmity  of  mind  on  his  part 
shall  make  me  act  or  feel  unkindly  towards  one  whose  sterling 
goodness  I  respect  as  much  as  I  admire  his  genius.  If  the 
matter  of  the  letter  requires  answer  or  explanation  from  me,  I 
shall  probably  give  it  at  the  end  of  the  Quarterly  Review,  as  the 
writer  of  the  article.  Anything  personal,  if  I  notice  it  at  all,  I 
shall  notice  privately  by  letter.  You  can  hardly  imagine  how 
inirritable  I  am  to  any  attacks  through  the  press.  When  I 
have  taken  occasion  to  handle  Jeffrey,  or  found  it  necessary  to 
take  up  the  pen  against  Lord  Byron,  it  has  been  more  with  a 
feeling  of  strength  than  of  anger,  something  like  Eumpelstilz- 
chen  feels  when  he  lays  his  paw  upon  a  rat. 

Cuthbert  desires  me  to  tell  you  that  that  worthy  cat  (who. 
has  recently  been  created  a  marquis)  is  very  well,  only  that  he 
has  a  little  cough ;  and,  moreover,  that  he  has  shown  an  im- 
proper liking  for  cream  cheese.  There  is  a  rival  of  his,  an 
interloper  named  Hurleburlebuss,  who  prowls  about  the  house, 
and  we  are  sometimes  awakened  by  their  nightly  encounters. 

I  am  charged  also  to  send  Bumpel's  love  to  Donna,  and 
Cuthbert's  to  you.  There  are  remembrances,  moreover,  from 
each  and  all  of  my  womankind,  with  all  of  whom  you  have  left 
such  an  impression  as  you  would  desire  to  leave.  For  myself — 
but  I  must  have  done,  for  time  presses,  and  the  maid  is  waiting 
for  my  dispatches. 

At  present,  therefore,  I  will  say  no  more  than, 

Dear  friend,  farewell. 





BUCKLAND,  October  Nth,  1823. 

I  have  had  a  rude  welcome  home.  The  very  night  after  I 
wrote  to  you  my  little  lonely  dwelling  was  heset  by  a  complete 
gang  of  thieves,  whose  attack  was,  however,  fortunately  con- 
fined to  the  out-premises;  there  they  made  unsparing  havoc, 
tearing  down  and  taking  away  (in  a  cart  brought  for  the 
purpose)  everything  at  all  portable — harness,  tools,  lead- work, 
&c.,  and  what  they  could  not  carry  off  they  broke  or  cut  to 
pieces.  So  well  aware  were  these  depredators  of  the  weakness 
of  the  garrison,  that  they  by  no  means  constrained  themselves 
to  do  their  work  in  silence ;  for,  about  12  o'clock,  I  distinctly 
heard  many  voices  of  persons  round  the  house.  Like  a  fool, 
however,  I  lay  still  and  went  to  sleep,  instead  of  giving  the 
alarm  to  my  old  German,  the  report  of  whose  musket  out  of 
window  might  have  scared  away  the  robbers;  but  I  am  so 
accustomed  to  hear  the  nocturnal  disturbances  occasioned  by 
smugglers  and  poachers,  and  have  so  often  needlessly  awakened 
the  family,  that  this  once  the  wolf  came  and  robbed  my  fold  in 
good  earnest. 

This  is  not  to  me  the  worst  part  of  the  disaster,  though  my 
loss  so  far  is  not  inconsiderable ;  but  the  whole  neighbourhood, 
having  been  lately  kept  in  a  state  of  alarm  from  the  depreda- 
tions of  this  gang,  and  just  fears  being  entertained  that  as 
winter  drew  on  they  would  not  stop  at  out-door  robbery,  the 
police  set  to  work  in  the  present  case  with  such  prompt  activity 
as  to  ferret  out  four  of  the  ringleaders,  one  only  of  whom,  how- 
ever, they  succeeded  in  securing,  with  just  enough  of  my  pro- 
perty in  his  possession  to  fix  on  me  the  necessity  of  prosecution, 
and  that  for  a  capital  offence,  they  having  broken  open  doors 
and  windows.  So  one  man  is  sent  to  Winchester,  to  take  his 
trial  at  the  assizes  in  March,  and  they  hope  to  secure  another. 
I  am  obliged  to  submit  to  all  this  with  what  appetite  I  may,. 


having  no  option  allowed  me  in  the  case,  and,  if  I  had,  could 
not,  I  suppose,  on  any  warrantable  grounds,  decline  prosecuting 
these  public  pests  ;  but  I  heartily  wish  the  duty  had  fallen  on 
shoulders  better  fitted  to  the  burthen.  The  expense,  you  may 
suppose,  I  do  not  much  relish — neither  have  I  any  particular 
fancy  for  hanging  people;  but  my  scruples  on  that  head  are 
obviated  by  the  assurance  of  the  magistrates  that  the  punish- 
ment in  such  a  case  as  this  is  sure  to  be  commuted  for  transport- 
ation for  life,  a  penance  I  have  no  manner  of  objection  to 

I  am  kindly  comforted  on  all  hands  with  hints  that  I  may 
expect  divers  malicious  and  revengeful  acts  from  those  of  the 
gang  still  at  liberty,  and  whom  there  is  not  proof  sufficient  to 
lay  hold  of.  Maiming  of  cattle,  house-breaking,  house-firing — 
all  these  pleasant  anticipations  are  tenderly  murmured  in  my 
ear,  but  happily  produce  in  me  the  very  reverse  effect  to  what 
might  be  expected ;  for,  in  the  first  place,  I  think  myself  in  no 
manner  of  danger,  and  have  not  allowed  myself  to  be  frightened 
out  of  an  hour's  sleep ;  and,  in  the  next,  am  spirited  up  to  de- 
fend myself  bravely,  and,  like  a  good  general,  have  already  put 
my  fortress  in  proper  state  to  withstand  a  siege. 

First,  by  way  of  warning,  I  have  stuck  up  a  huge,  frightful 
engine  y-clept  a  man-trap  (not  set  at  night,  but  you  are  not  to 
blab  that  secret) ;  then  I  have  bought  a  great  fierce  bull-dog ; 
have  provided  my  Grerman  with  a  blunderbuss,  powder,  and 
shot,  and  myself  with  a  pair  of  pistols,  with  which  I  dare  make 
a  noise  at  least ;  for  you  know  I  told  you  my  father  had 
taught  me  to  stand  fire,  and  the  report  (soon  spread)  that  one 
has  such  weapons,  and  dare  use  them,  is  almost  as  effective  as 
an  armed  sentinel  at  one's  door.  Now  dare  you  trust  yourself 
in  "  my  little  lonely  tower "  ?  But  you  dare  not  draw  back, 
indeed ;  you  have  too  much  chivalric  spirit  about  you ;  and  I 
will  not  let  you  off — no,  nor  part  with  you  a  day,  nor  an 
hour,  nor  a  minute  sooner  than  that  you  say  must  be  the 

I  wish  you  would  bring  some  of  your  work  to  do  here  as 
well  as  at  Streatham;  then  you  might  afford  to  stay  longer, 


and  yet  lose  no  time ;  and  for  quiet,  you  shall  have  a  little 
study  so  still  it  might  answer  for  the  cell  of  silence ;  and  for 
hours ! — they  shall  be  at  your  own  disposal,  as  in  your  own 
home ;  so  come  and  work  here. 

Grod  speed  you  on  your  way,  you  and  your  companion, 
and  protect  those  you  leave  behind  you.  Eemember  me  to 
them  all — all,  not  forgetting  Cuthbert.  I  should  think  extract 
of  mouse  would  be  the  best  thing  for  Rumplestilzchen's  cough, 
though  perhaps  instinct  pointed  out  cream  cheese  as  the  most 
effectual  remedy,  a  sort  oipdte  de  Guimauve. 

Farewell  for  a  season,  dear  and  kind  friend  of  mine.  I 
shall  await  your  next  letter  impatiently. 


From  a  certain  hint  at  the  end  of  Lamb's  letter,  I  half 
suspect  that,  in  your  schoolboy  days,  you  were  a  party  con- 
cerned in  some  outrage  on  Sir  Cloudesly  Shovel's  nose  in 
Westminster  Abbey. 



KESWICK,  November  2nd,  1823. 

I  once  declared  in  a  poem  that  I  never  put  out  the  eye  of  a 
Cyclops ;  and  I  now  declare  with  equal  sincerity  that  I  never 
offered  any  outrage  to  the  nose  of  Sir  Cloudesly  Shovel. 

You  have  a  good  heart,  and  it  stands  you  in  good  stead : 
would  that  some  of  my  family  had  a  portion  of  your  courage  ! 
But  the  truth  is,  that  your  Job's  comforters  are  as  unwise  in 
entertaining  their  fears  as  they  are  in  communicating  them. 
There  is  danger  in  acting  against  smugglers  and  poachers, 
because  smugglers  and  poachers  think  they  have  natural  justice 
on  their  side,  and  have  some  show  of  reason  for  thinking  so ; 


they  therefore  think  themselves  aggrieved  when  they  are  prose- 
cuted for  their  illicit  practices,  and  feel  as  if  they  had  a  right -to 
revenge  themselves  upon  anyone  who  has  taken  part  against 
them.  But  this  is  not  the  case  with  those  who  have  committed 
a  breach  of  the  moral  law ;  they  are  self-convicted  of  a  known 
sin;  and  here  in  England  not  even  a  Bow-street  officer  has 
ever  suffered  the  slightest  injury  from  after-revenge,  though 
sometimes  very  serious  ones  in  the  discharge  of  their  duty. 
You  may  therefore  sleep  in  peace. 

Perhaps  it  would  lessen  in  some  little  degree  the  unplea- 
santness of  your  appearance  at  Winchester  if  you  had  any 
acquaintance  there;  and  I  can  very  well  introduce  you  to 
Mrs.  Hill's  sisters,  who  reside  in  that  city.  But  I  shall  see 
you  before  that  time;  and  persuade  you,  I  hope,  not  only 
almost,  but  wholly,  that  there  are  yet  hopes  and  enjoyments 
in  store  for  you  in  this  world. 

This  has  remained  unfinished  till  the  last  minute.  It  is 
now  Sunday  night,  my  table  sadly  disfurnished,  everything 
packed,  and  my  last  despatches  on  the  wing.  God  bless  you. 

Yours  affectionately, 




KIEKBT  LONSDALE,  November  4£A,  1823. 

We  left  home  yesterday,  and  are  now  at  Kirkby  Lonsdale, 
waiting  for  weather  that  may  allow  us  to  see  the  Caves ;  for, 
from  the  time  of  our  departure  till  this  moment  it  has  not 
ceased  raining.  The  same  ill  fortune  which  persecuted  you  at 
Ambleside  seems  fated  to  attend  us.  The  females,  however, 
are  company  for  each  other ;  they  have  taken  out  their  work ; 


and  the  opportunity  is  favourable  for  performing  a  part  of 
mine,  which  is  to  ask  you  whether  one  of  those  day-dreams 
to  which  you  have  given  birth  (a  very  delightful  one  to  me 
it  is)  shall  come  to  pass  ? 

I  have  put  up  among  my  papers  the  memoranda  which 
were  made  many  years  ago  for  a  poem  upon  Robin  Hood. 
They  are  easily  shaped  into  a  regular  plan,  and,  in  my  judg- 
ment, a  promising  one.  Will  you  form  an  intellectual  union 
with  me  that  it  may  be  executed?  We  will  keep  our  own 
secret  as  well  as  Sir  Walter  Scott  has  done.  Murray  shall 
publish  it,  and  not  know  the  whole  mystery  that  he  may  make 
the  more  of  it,  and  the  result  will  be  means  in  abundance  for 
a  summer's  abode  at  Keswick,  and  an  additional  motive  for 
it  that  we  may  form  other  schemes  of  the  same  nature.  Am 
I  dreaming  when  I  think  that  we  may  derive  from  this  much 
high  enjoyment,  and  that  you  may  see  in  the  prospect  some- 
thing which  is  worth  living  for?  The  secret  itself  would  be 
delightful  while  we  thought  proper  to  keep  it ;  still  more  so 
the  spiritual  union  which  death  would  not  part. 

Now  on  your  side  there  must  be  no  hesitation  from  diffi- 
dence. You  can  write  as  easily  and  as  well  as  I  can  plan. 
You  are  as  well  acquainted  with  forest  scenery,  and  with  what- 
ever is  required  for  the  landscape  part,  as  I  am  with  the  man- 
ners of  the  time.  You  will  comprehend  the  characters  as 
distinctly  as  I  have  conceived  them;  when  we  meet  we  will 
sort  the  parts  so  as  each  to  take  the  most  suitable,  and  I  will 
add  to  yours,  and  you  to  mine,  whatever  may  improve  it. 
Beaumont  and  Fletcher  composed  plays  together  with  such  har- 
mony of  style,  thought,  and  feeling  that  no  critic  has  ever  been 
able  to  determine  what  parts  were  written  by  one  and  what 
by  the  other.  Why  should  not  E.  S.  and  C.  A.  B.  succeed 
as  happily  in  the  joint  execution  of  a  poem? 

As  there  can  be  no  just  cause  or  impediment  why  these 
two  persons  should  not  be  thus  joined  together,  tell  me  that 
you  consent  to  the  union,  and  I  will  send  you  the  rude  out- 
line of  the  story  and  of  the  characters.  Direct  to  me  at  Sir  Gr. 
Beaumont's,  Bart.,  Cole-Orton  Hall,  Ashby-de-la-Zouch,  where 


I  expect  to   arrive  on  Monday  next,  and  to  remain  till  the 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you, 



BUCKLAND,  November  9th,  1823. 

How  you  have  set  me  thinking !  Thinking,  wondering, 
wishing,  debating,  doubting,  almost — yes,  almost — despairing. 
What !  I  associated  with  you  in  any  literary  undertaking  ! 
I  have  dreamt  often  enough,  and  strangely  enough,  heaven 
knows,  and  have  been  (what  I  thought)  daring  in  my  dreams ; 
but  never  in  their  very  wildest  flight  glanced  at  such  a  possi- 
bility as  you  now  point  out  to  me.  For  a  moment  let  me  con- 
template the  possibility  of  such  a  scheme.  That  would  be  some- 
thing worth  living  for,  and  rather  would  I  be  associated  therein 
— yea,  contribute  thereto  the  very  humblest,  meanest  portions, 
the  very  commas  and  semicolons,  thereby  cementing  that  un- 
dying intellectual  union  you  speak  of — than  be  the  authoress, 
the  sole  authoress,  of  such  a  work  as  "  Thalaba."  I  can  find 
no  language  to  express  more  warmly  how,  with  heart  and  soul, 
I  would  say  "Yes" — promptly  and  eagerly,  "Yes" — to  your 
tempting,  tantalizing  proposition,  if  only — that  odious  mono- 
syllable !  You  know  well  enough  all  it  implies.  You  must 
know,  if  you  consider  by  the  cold,  clear  light  of  reason  alone, 
unmingled  with  the  warm,  illusive  emanations  from  that  kind 
heart  of  yours,  which  (in  its  zeal  to  make  me  in  love  with 
life)  has  conjured  up  all  this  beautiful  fabric.  But  let  it  stand 
awhile ;  I  have  not  the  heart  to  demolish  it  with  one  resolute 
word.  And  "  what  if  I  were  to  try,"  whispers  the  longing 
spirit  within  me;  "I  could  but  fail  at  last,  and  there  would 
be  no  harm  done,  and  the  friend  who  has  conceived  all  this 


so  delightfully  would  not  withdraw  his  regard,  nor  think  more 
meanly  of  me  as  a  friend  in  the  best  sense  of  the  word,  be- 
cause I  fall  on  trial  so  immeasurably  below  him  in  the  scale 
of  intellectual  worth."  So  whispers  The  Voice.  Is  it  that  of 
a  friendly  or  foolish  spirit  ?  Answer  my  question  by  sending 
or  not  sending  the  outline  you  speak  of.  Nobody  can  detect 
the  dovetailing  of  Beaumont  and  Fletcher's  works:  true;  but 
their  intellectual  powers  were  matched  as  well  as  paired.  Here 
the  case  is  far  otherwise.  In  feeling,  I  think,  I  believe  (not 
surely  in  self-conceit)  that  I  may  go  along  with  you;  but 
when  I  would  express  those  feelings,  even  in  familiar  conver- 
sation, I  feel  myself  hemmed  in  like  a  salamander  in  his 
glowing  circle — baffled,  obstructed,  repelled,  in  every  quarter. 
Moreover,  you  know  I  have  told  you  I  cannot  write ;  I 
cannot  sit  down  to  compose;  that  would  effectually  ^'.scorn- 
pose  my  scanty  stock  of  ideas.  How  am  I  ever,  then,  to 
coalesce  in  any  regular  consistent  work  of  composition?  Can 
you  solve  this  difficulty?  I  know  you  can  work  wonders,  and 
are  more  than  half  a  magician ;  so  speak  over  me  (if  within 
the  compass  of  your  art)  words  of  such  power  as  may  make 
me  what  you  say  I  can  be.  In  short,  your  "day-dreams"  are 
so  enchanting,  I  must  try  to  share  in  them  a  little  while,  at 
the  risk,  the  almost  certainty,  of  awaking  at  last  to  a  blank 
and  mortifying  reality.  When  you  are  here  (good  angels 
speed  you  hither!)  you  will  perceive  my  residence  is  far  re- 
moved from  real  forest  scenery,  and,  consequently,  I  am  by 
no  means  so  familiar  with  its  local  characteristics,  as  you  sup- 
pose me  to  be;  and  then  I  believe  our  forest  differs  greatly, 
in  almost  every  feature,  from  that  of  "  Merry  Sherwood." 
But  I  should  never  have  done  were  I  to  go  on  enumerating 
the  obstacles  I  perceive  in  my  way.  Would  that  genius  and 
power  were  contagious  qualities,  I  should  have  returned  from 
Keswick  rich  in  both  ! 

Farewell,  and  Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend, 




STEEATHAM,  November  19th,  1823. 

I  should  feel  more  uneasy  than  I  have  done  under  the- 
impossibility  of  replying  sooner  to  your  last  most  welcome 
letter,  if  I  had  not  commissioned  Dame  Elizabeth  (so  named 
when  we  lay  side  by  side  in  the  boat  of  the  Peak  Cavern,  like 
two  figures  on  an  old  monument)  to  tell  you  I  would  write  on 
the  first  possible  opportunity.  The  endless  round  of  occupa- 
tions and  engagements  in  which  I  am  involved  in  London  you 
can  hardly  conceive ;  they  are  such  as  literally  not  to  leave  me 
an  interval  of  rest.  Yesterday  I  got  to  this  quiet  Rectory,, 
after  a  most  fatiguing  morning.  To-day  I  have,  as  a  matter 
not  to  be  delayed,  written  a  short  letter  to  Charles  Lamb, 
which  can  hardly  fail  of  making  him  heartily  sorry  for  what 
he  has  done;  and  if  he  can  forgive  himself  as  easily  as  I 
forgive  him,  we  shall  meet  again  upon  our  old  terms.  This 
done,  I  set  out  with  you  for  the  forest  of  merry  Sherwood. 

A  tale  of  Robin  Hood  might  without  impropriety  be  as 
little  regular  in  its  structure  as  he  was  in  his  way  of  life.  I 
think  a  striking  introduction  might  be  made  by  the  funeral  of 
his  mother  (dying  in  child-bed  of  him),  the  immediate  depar- 
ture of  the  Earl,  his  father,  to  the  Crusades,  and  the  delivery 
of  the  infant  to  a  kinsman,  Sir  Ranulph,  as  guardian,  and 
the  parental  care  of  Father  Hugh,  the  Earl's  foster-brother. 
Twelve  years  may  be  allowed  to  elapse,  during  which  the  boy 
has  grown  wild,  his  guardian  being  always  engaged  in  polit- 
ical turmoils,  and  the  Priest  an  indulgent  man.  The  Earl's 
heart  is  then  brought  home  from  the  Holy  Land,  to  be  de- 
posited in  the  same  grave  with  his  wife.  And  then  an  interval 
of  seven  or  eight  years  more,  when  the  proper  story  of  the 


poem  commences,  with  a  service  for  the  souls  of  the  Earl  and 
his  wife.  After  the  service  Father  Hugh  takes  the  opportunity 
of  mildly  lecturing  the  young  Earl  Eobert  for  his  propensities 
to  forest  sports  and  inferior  company,  and  his  utter  neglect 
of  knightly  accomplishments — it  having  previously  been  shown 
that  this  had  arisen  from  his  guardian's  constant  absence  and 
entire  neglect.  It  appears  now  that  Eanulph's  intention  is  to 
bring  about  a  marriage  between  Eobert  and  his  only  child, 
Aveline ;  but  Aveline  has  already  given  her  heart  to  Gilbert 
with  the  white  hand,  a  squire  of  low  degree,  and  Eobin,  as 
his  comrades  have  from  childhood  called  him,  declares  his  de- 
termination never  to  marry  anybody  but  Maid  Marian,  the 
miller's  daughter.  Marian  is  a  skylark,  and  Aveline  a  turtle 
dove ;  Gilbert  of  a  gentle,  poetical  disposition,  and  yet  Eobin 
and  he  are  bosom  friends. 

Eanulph  arrives  to  effect  the  marriage,  and  in  his  anger  at 
a  refusal  which  disappoints  the  plan  of  securing  the  estates  for 
his  own  family,  sends  off  Marian  (as  a  villain's  daughter)  to 
be  forcibly  married,  and  commits  Aveline  to  the  custody  of  a 
severe  lady  abbess.  Eobin  collects  his  comrades,  rescues  his 
own  love  first,  then  storms  the  nunnery,  carries  off  Aveline  for 
Gilbert,  and  away  they  go  to  the  forest. 

Then  for  a  rich  pastoral  book,  describing  the  life  of  the  out- 
laws. Eanulph  is  now  one  of  John's  favourites,  and  on  the 
watch  to  arrest  and  make  away  with  King  Eichard  on  his  re- 
turn from  captivity.  The  story  is  to  be  wound  up  by  Eobin 
Hood's  delivering  Cceur  de  Lion  from  this  danger,  being  rein- 
stated in  his  rank,  &c.,  but  resigning  them  all  to  Gilbert  and 
Aveline,  and  choosing  to  pass  his  days  always  as  the  king  of 
the  forest.  It  will  be  easy  enough  to  make  out  this  part  of 
the  fable,  which,  indeed,  will  shape  itself  while  the  rest  is  in 
progress.  How  like  you  this,  my  friend  and  partner  dear? 
Are  there  not  rich  capabilities  to  be  dreamt  of  now — to  be 
talked  of  soon — and  then  to  be  realized? 

But  I  must  conclude,  not  to  lose  the  post ;  and  for  the  same 
reason  must  do  without  a  frank.  You  may  direct  to  me, 
under  cover,  to  John  Eickman,  Esq.,  New  Palace  Yard.  Only 


one  word  more.     I  hope  I  have  put  your  books  in  the  way  of 
being  reviewed  in  the  Quarterly. 

God  bless  you, 

Yours  affectionately, 


I  cannot  tell  you  when  I  can  move  westward  yet.     Tell  you 
me  what  coaches  pass  near  you  from  the  westward. 


BUCKLAND,  January  24,  1824. 

Your  parcel  never  reached  me  till  last  night,  long  after 
our  post-hour.  To-day  is  Saturday — no  London  post;  but  I 
must  write  to-day.  I  must  thank  you,  scold  you — say  some- 
thing of  what  my  heart  is  very  full  of,  and  which  it  would 
be  great  'penance  for  me  to  keep  quite  in  another  whole  day. 
You  have  made  me  very  rich,  and  very  grateful,  and  very 
angry.  Your  Poetical  Works  given  by  you,  an  inestimable 
treasure  to  me,  and  so  they  would  have  been  in  their  plain  suit 
of  boards ;  and  you  should  not  have  lavished  on  me  that  elegant 
binding,  which  I  am  determined  not  to  let  you  know  I  think 
beautiful.  With  a  few  strokes  of  your  pen  you  have  made  one 
volume  more  valuable  to  me  than  the  whole  art  of  binding 
could  have  rendered  it.  But  you  have  been  very  niggardly 
in  that  respect :  you  might  verily  have  enriched  each  set,  at 
least,  with  the  same  talisman.  You  will  laugh  when  I  say 
I  never  open  a  book  so  inscribed  without  looking  at  the  writ- 
ing :  this  is  among  many  odd  fancies  of  mine. 

I  seized  eagerly  on  the  Minor  Poems.     Strangely  enough, 


the  volume  I  took  up  opened  at  a  page  where  the  first  words 
that  met  my  eye  were — 

"I  am  no  sworn  friend 
Of  half-an-hour,  as  apt  to  leave  as  love  : 
Mine  are  no  mushroom  feelings,  which  spring  up 
At  once  without  a  seed,  and  take  no  root." 

That  sounded  pleasantly  to  me,  though  I  have  not  (I  wish 
I  had)  the  claims  of  "  Cousin  Margaret." 

I  have  been  at  work  trying  that  metre  of  "  Thalaba,"  and 
fine  work  I  make  of  it !  It  is  to  me  just  like  attempting  to 
drive  a  tilbury  in  a  tram-road.  I  keep  quartering,  or  trying 
to  quarter,  for  a  yard  or  so,  and  then  down  goes  the  wheel  into 
the  old  groove.  I  cannot  keep  out  of  blank  verse.  When  I 
have  written  off  a  few  lines,  pretty  fairly  as  to  look,  on  read- 
ing them  aloud,  lo  !  they  are  neither  more  nor  less  than  a  scrap 
of  blank  verse,  snipt  into  longs  and  shorts ;  and  if  I  force  my- 
self out  of  this  track,  then  do  I  invent  such  horrible  discord 
that  the  sound  stops  me  short,  as  a  false  note  from  the  orchestra 
stops  one  in  the  middle  of  a  dance.  You  would  laugh  to  see 
me  in  the  agony  of  composition. 

The  magistrates  of  Ghiernsey  have  given  notice  to  our  ma- 
gistrates that  they  have  secured  the  runaway  ringleader  of  the 
gang  that  robbed  me,  and  two  constables  are  gone  over  to  fetch 
the  gentleman,  and  convoy  him  here  and  then  to  Winchester, 
all  at  my  cost ;  but  our  senators  leave  me  no  option. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend,  and  keep  you  safe  and  patient 
in  "  Vanity  Town,"  and  send  you  safe  out  of  it,  in  which  wish 
you  will  join  me  heartily. 

Be  so  good,  the  first  time  you  write  to  me,  as  to  tell  me 
(for  the  information  of  a  person  who  wishes  to  possess  a  bust  of 
you)  where  those  are  to  be  bought,  such  as  I  saw  at  your  house 
and  at  General  Peachey's,  and  of  what  those  are  composed.  I 
rather  suspect  they  were  only  made  to  order,  and  that  others- 
are  no  longer  to  be  purchased.  Once  more,  farewell. 

Yours  gratefully  and  affectionately, 





NORWICH,  January  21th,  1824. 

Till  now  I  have  not  had  five  minutes  during  which  I  could 
quietly  put  pen  to  paper  since  we  parted.  I  breakfasted  in  the 
Close  at  Winchester  on  the  morning  after,  saw  the  cathedral 
and  the  college,  found  room  in  the  coach  at  noon,  and  reached 
London  at  night.  The  next  day  I  secured  places  in  the  Nor- 
wich mail  for  Friday  evening,  and  dined  among  "  strange 
women,"  at  Lady  Malet's — a  situation  something  worse  than 
Daniel  in  the  lions'  den.  Your  note  on  the  travelling  frank 
reached  me  before  I  left  town,  and  after  a  parcel  had  been 
sent  off,  which  I  hope  reached  you  without  mishap,  though  with 
no  better  packing  than  my  hands  (awkward  at  such  work)  could 
give  it.  You  have  there  all  my  poems  which  have  as  yet  been 
printed  in  that  form.  How  many  more  such  volumes  may  be 
added  to  them  depends  as  much  upon  you  as  on  myself.  Many 
I  hope  and  trust,  very  many,  to  your  benefit  and  mine,  to  our 
mutual  delight,  to  our  lasting  remembrance. 

We  arrived  here  safely  on  Saturday  morning ;  Sunday  I 
heard  Neville*  officiate  in  a  little  village  church  of  which  he 
is  curate.  One  of  his  brother's  hymns  was  sung  there,  and  I 
dined  at  his  mother's,  where  her  whole  family  were  assembled, 
with  the  father  and  mother  of  Neville's  wife.  Ten  years  ago, 
when  he  had  no  prospect  of  marriage,  I  volunteered  to  be  god- 
father to  his  first  son ;  and  very  obligingly  the  son  made  his 
entrance  a  month  ago,  and  is  this  day  to  be  christened  Henry 

I  do  not  believe  that  any  act  of  kindness  was  ever  so  largely 
overpaid  as  that  has  been  which  I  rendered  to  the  Whites. 
It  has  been  of  far  greater  consequence  to  them  than  I  could 
possibly  have  dreamt  of ;  but  their  gratitude  has  more  than 

*  Neville  White,  brother  of  Henry  Kirke  White. 


kept  pace  with  the  benefit  which  they  have  received.  And 
when  I  think  that  to  the  publication  of  Henry's  "  Eemains  "  I 
am  indebted  for  my  knowledge  of  you,*  I  certainly  look  upon  it 
as  one  of  the  most  fortunate  events  of  my  life,  and  perhaps  one 
of  the  most  influential.  If  as  a  poet  I  am  to  have  a  second 
spring  (there  is  still  sap  enough  in  the  trunk — enough  life  in 
the  root),  to  this  it  must  be  owing. 

But  the  christening  guests  are  come,  and  I  must  hasten  to 
say  two  things — first,  that  you  may  introduce  a  few  songs  with 
good  effect ;  and  secondly,  that  I  have  promised  to  ask  you  for 
a  devotional  poem,  as  an  act  of  charity  to  a  poor  music  master 
here,  now  four  years  a  helpless  paralytic,  for  whom  poets  are 
willing  to  write,  and  composers  to  set  the  strains,  and  to  whom 
I  have  promised  something  from  myself  and  something  from 
you,  from  whom  I  might  venture  to  promise. 

One  thing  more — do  not  forget  that  I  wish,  earnestly  wish, 
to  pay  what  tribute  I  can  to  Paul  Burrard's  memory,  f  Send 
me  such  notice  of  him  as  you  may  have  heart  to  give.  I  will 
do  my  best. 

And  now,  dear  friend,  dear  Caroline,  farewell.  Let  me  have 
a  letter  from  you  in  Queen  Ann  Street,  where  I  hope  to  arrive 
on  Thursday  the  5th.  Edith's  love. 

God  bless  you. 


*  Encouraged  by  the  knowledge  of  his  kind  reception  of  H.  K.  White's 
Poems,  Miss  Bowles  had  sent  to  Southey  her  MS. 

f  See  Southey's  Poetical  Works  :  "  Inscriptions,"  "  To  the  Memory  of 
Paul  Burrard."  Paul  Burrard  was  cousin  of  Caroline  Bowles,  who  furnished 
Southey  with  some  memorials  of  the  heroic  young  man. 



LONDON,  February  13£/t,  1824. 

A  few  hurried  lines  in  the  midst  of  all  the  joy,  dirt  and 
discomfort  of  packing,  hammering,  cording,  &c. 

Thank  you  for  the  purse,  though  it  was  a  dangerous 
mclosure,  and  might  have  been  (perhaps  ought  to  have  been) 
stabbed  at  the  Post  Office,  as  coming  from  a  part  of  the  coast 
noted  for  smuggling.  Remember  that  Rickman's  frank  will 
not  cover  more  than  two  ounces. 

Thank  you  also  for  both  your  little  poems  :  the  sea  one  I 
think  will  suit  the  poor  petitioner's  purpose  well.  The  other 
is  one  of  the  most  striking  and  original  I  ever  met  with  in 
any  language,  and  so  it  has  been  felt  to  be  by  the  few  persons 
to  whom  I  have  shown  it.*  There  is  a  single  line  which  needs 
alteration  — 

"O'er  him  he  loved—  that  livid  clay." 

I  wish  I  could  see  how  to  alter  it.  But  I  will  examine  the 
whole,  and  see  whether  in  any  word  it  can  be  improved,  for 
be  assured  that  little  piece  will  take  its  place  with  Gray's 
"  Elegy  "  and  Herbert  Knowles's. 

So  little  rest  have  I  had  since  I  left  you  that  my  portfolio 
goes  home  full  of  unanswered  letters.  I  will  write  with  my 
first  leisure  to  you  about  the  irregular  blank  verse.  You  have 
only  to  unlearn  the  common  tune,  and  then  follow  your  ear, 
taking  mere  convenience  for  your  guide,  except  where  the 
subject  brings  with  it,  as  it  often  will  do,  its  own  measure. 
Break  yourself  of  the  common  tune  by  practising  in  six- 
syllable  lines,  and  in  eight-syllable  ones. 

Mary  Wollstonecraft  I  had  never  seen  when  those  lines 
to  her  were  written.  I  saw  her  afterwards,  twice  or  thrice, 

*  The  poem  spoken  of  is  "  It  is  not  Death  "  :  Solitary  Hours,  pp.  57-59. 

E  2 


and  dined  once  at  her  house :  she  was  a  delightful  woman, 
and  in  better  times,  or  in  better  hands  would  have  been  an 
excellent  one.  But  her  lot  had  fallen  in  evil  days  and  the  men 
to  whom  she  attached  herself  were  utterly  unworthy  of  her. 
You  shall  see  one  of  these  days  what  I  say  of  that  tempestuous 
age ;  few  persons  but  those  who  have  lived  in  it  can  conceive- 
or  comprehend  what  the  memory  of  the  French  Revolution  was, 
nor  what  a  visionary  world  seemed  to  open  upon  those  who 
were  just  entering  it.  Old  things  seemed  passing  away,  and 
nothing  was  dreamt  of  but  the  regeneration  of  the  human  race. 

You  asked  about  my  bust.  Smith  in  Upper  Norton-street 
has  the  mould,  and  casts  may  always  be  had  there. 

I  have  no  time  for  more.  Sunday,  thank  God,  I  shall  be  at 
home,  and,  if  I  find  all  well,  shall  be  truly  happy.  Yet  I  depart 
with  a  heavier  feeling  than  I  ever  took  from  London  before,  for 
it  is  not  likely  that  I  shall  ever  see  my  uncle  again.  He  is  very 
infirm,  more  so  than  might  have  been  expected  at  seventy- four. 
Last  night  I  went  to  assist  him  into  his  carriage,  and  before  he 
had  driven  off,  or  I  had  re-entered  the  door,  some  men  passed 
between  us  bearing  a  coffin.  Mere  accident  as  it  was,  I  wish 
it  had  not  occurred,  for  it  must  have  affected  him  as  it  did  me. 
Edith's  love. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  February  24th,  1824. 

Since  I  returned  I  have  been  replying  to  the  heap  of  letters, 
which  as  they  followed  me  about  were  laid  aside  till  a  more 
convenient  season.  You  will  easily  understand  that  such  letters 
are  meant  as  had  no  right  to  more  ceremonious  treatment. 

I  have  been  unpacking,  arranging,  and  idling  over  the  long 


looked  for  box  of  books  from  Italy,  and  a  parcel  of  some  forty 
volumes  which  I  dispatched  from  Norwich. 

I  have  been  enjoying  an  old  coat,  and  old  shoes ;  habits  so 
regular  that  the  clock  might  be  regulated  by  them — my  usual 
breakfast,  my  usual  hours,  my  after-dinner  sleep ;  the  concious- 
ness  of  being  at  rest — in  a  word,  home  after  a  long  absence.  All 
things  are  now  resuming  their  old  course.  The  children  come 
to  me  regularly  with  their  lessons,  and  I  go  down  to  supper 
with  a  folio  under  my  arm,  to  be  taken  with  the  black  currant 
rum,  as  a  composer.  Eumpelstilzchen  arches  his  back  to  meet 
my  salutation  in  the  kitchen,  and  Hurlyburlybuss  greets  me 
with  the  like  demonstration  of  good  will  in  the  garden.  Proof- 
sheets  are  the  only  things  wanting  to  my  contentment,  and  I 
shall  not  be  long  without  them. 

I  had  been  absent  fifteen  weeks  wanting  one  day.  To  say 
nothing  of  the  arrears  of  business  which  so  long  an  interruption 
occasions,  there  were  heavy  arrears  of  sleep ;  and  if  on  the 
former  score  I  am  debtor,  here  I  am  on  the  creditor  side  of 
the  account.  By  a  fair  calculation,  not  less  than  three  hundred 
and  forty-five  hours  of  good  honest  sleep  were  due  to  me  when 
I  reached  home,  at  the  rate  of  three  hours  lost  in  every  twenty- 
four,  besides  six  nights  passed  in  stage  coaches.  Such  arrears 
are  like  the  national  debt — too  large  to  be  paid  off ;  and  having 
taken  out  a  small  part,  I  am  making  a  magnanimous  resolution 
to  cancel  the  remainder  of  the  debt,  and  rise  as  early  as  I  did 
in  London.  The  produce  of  this  time  before  breakfast  will  find 
its  way  to  Buckland,  and  before  you  receive  this  letter  I  shall 
have  made  a  beginning. 

There  can  be  no  more  difficulty  in  your  writing  the  verse 
of  Thalaba  than  there  is  in  an  expert  dancer's  acquiring  a  new 
step.  The  simple  rule  is  to  consult  the  ear  alone,  and  when 
you  use  lines  of  less  than  ten  syllables,  let  the  pause  generally 
be  at  the  end  of  the  line. 

I  sent  your  sea-poem  to  the  poor  musician  at  Norwich. 
The  other  and  the  finer  of  the  two  is  not  so  appropriate  to 
his  purpose,  and  is,  moreover,  too  good  to  be  so  bestowed.  My 
admiration  of  it  is  nothing  abated  by  frequent  re-reading 


and  re-considering  it.  The  feeling  and  the  movement  are 
in  beautiful  accord,  and  the  expression  is  everywhere  ex- 
cellent, except  in  the  stanza  respecting  Lazarus.  The  poem, 
if  it  were  set  to  music  with  a  thousandth  part  of  the  feeling 
that  it  breathes,  could  not  fail  of  doing  good.  What  are 
Shield's  merits  as  a  composer  ?  He  is  the  only  musician 
whom  I  know,  but  whether  he  has  any  merit  or  not  in  his 
profession  is  what  others  must  tell  me,  for  I  am  utterly  igno- 
rant upon  that  subject.  If,  however,  you  think  well  of  him, 
he  I  know  would  think  himself  obliged  to  me  if  I  sent  him 
the  poem. 

I  hope  to  do  a  great  deal  this  year,  and  among  other  things 
to  complete  the  series  of  "  Inscriptions ;  "  the  sooner  they  are 
published  the  better,  because  every  year  lessens  the  number 
of  those  persons  who  would  be  gratified  by  seeing  this  tribute 
paid  to  their  lost  friends. 

Grod  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  Saturday,  February  28th,  1824. 

I  told  you  before  you  received  my  letter  I  should  have 
returned  to  my  old  habit  of  writing  verses  before  breakfast 
(at  which  time  nine-tenths  at  least  of  "Thalaba,"  "Madoc," 
"Kehama,"  and  "Roderick"  were  written).  I  began  on 
Thursday,  and  in  three  mornings  have  produced — what  you 
see.  Five-and-twenty  years  ago  I  should  have  written  three 
times  as  much  in  one.  Without  inquiring  whether  what  is  lost 
in  measure  is  gained  in  weight,  there  is  satisfaction  enough 
in  knowing  that  even  at  this  rate  a  long  poem  may  be  com- 
pleted in  twelve  months ;  and  that  if  I  hold  on  (as  I  will  do, 
provided  you  bear  your  part),  and  you  keep  pace  with  me,, 


half  that  time  will  complete  our  purpose,  and  we  may  publish 
at  the  close  of  the  year. 

I  have  not  patience  to  proceed  further  with  the  first  canto 
before  I  send  you  what  is  already  written.  You  have  here  a 
beginning  which,  when  I  receive  a  copy  of  the  book  "  from  the 
author,"  I  shall  gravely  pronounce  to  be  a  very  good  imitation 
of  my  own  manner,  and  honestly  add  that  it  is  quite  as  good 
as  I  could  produce  myself.  The  fragments  shall  be  forwarded 
to  you  as  I  proceed,  written  all  in  the  same  form  for  con- 
venience of  arrangement.  Now,  dear  Caroline,  go  you  to 
work  with  the  same  mind  and  the  same  will,  and  we  shall 
build  something  more  durable,  if  not  more  beautiful,  than  the 
best  castle  that  either  of  us  has  ever  erected,  great  architects 
as  we  both  have  been  in  that  line. 

God  bless  you. 


It  is  needless  to  say  that  the  sample  which  you  receive  now 
needs  polishing  in  some  places.  You  will  feel,  as  I  do,  when 
it  fails  to  satisfy  the  ear  or  to  express  the  thought  felicitously. 



KESWICK,  April  9th,  1824. 

Since  your  letter  arrived  I  have  been  engaged  at  one  time 
with  the  prevalent  catarrh  (not  my  annual  visitor,  or  it  would 
not  have  left  me  so  easily  or  so  soon) ;  and  afterwards  with  an 
unexpected  guest.  I  send  you  now  a  few  more  stanzas ; 
the  next  batch  will  probably  conclude  the  canto.  Send  me 
some  in  return,  and  take  up  the  story  where  you  will;  in 
the  next  canto  if  you  like  it,  with  the  infancy  and  child- 
hood of  the  orphan,  and  conclude  it  with  the  return  of  the 


few  forlorn  survivors  who  bring  home  their  Lord's  heart.  I 
shall  proceed  with  the  better  will  when  I  am  assured  that 
you  are  at  work. 

Such  resemblances  in  sound  as  that  between  faith  and  fate 
I  gladly  avail  myself  of,  when  they  occur  without  the  appear- 
ance of  being  sought  for.  The  use  of  alliteration  in  our  poetry 
is  as  old  as  that  of  rhyme,  indeed  it  supplies  the  place  of  rhyme 
in  one  form  of  verse — that  in  which  Pierce  Ploughman's  vision 
is  written.  Like  every  other  artifice  in  versification  it  has  been 
overdone,  and  thereby  rendered  disgusting.  I  was  a  greatr 
offender  in  this  way  in  my  boyhood,  before  I  learnt  to  use 
my  tools. 

You  asked  me-  why  Sara  Coleridge  did  not  rather  begin 
with  Joinville  or  De  GKiesclin  than  with  Bayard.  Because 
Bayard's  is  a  popular  name,  and  Joinville  had  been  translated 
about  fifteen  years  ago  by  Johnes  of  Hafod,  villainously 
enough  Heaven  knows,  never  man  having  more  liking  for 
such  works,  with  less  taste. 

A  lady  has  translated  "  Roderick  "  into  Dutch  verse,  and 
dedicates  it  to  me  in  verse  also.  Her  husband  is  the  most  emi- 
nent man  of  his  age,  as  a  poet  and  critic,  Bilderdijk  by  name, 
and  the  translation  appears  to  be  very  well  done  :  that  is,  I  can 
see  it  is  true  to  the  original,  and  the  husband  assures  me  of  its 
merits  in  other  respects.  The  dedication  would  please  you, 
as  it  does  me.  She  has  lost  a  son  at  sea,  I  know  not  whether 
in  battle  or  by  course  of  nature,  and  she  describes  in  these 
verses,  how  while  she  hoped  for  his  return,  she  used  to  ap- 
ply that  part  of  the  poem  about  Alphonso  and  his  mother 
to  her  own  heart. 

God  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 





BUCKLAND,  April  Wth,  1824. 

I  send  you  what  will,  I  think,  be  my  first  and  last  contribu- 
tion to  the  grand  coalition,  for  you  cannot  fail  to  perceive  from 
this  specimen — and  you  may  be  sure  I  have  done  my  best — 
how  utterly  incapable  I  am  of  fulfilling  your  expectations. 
There  is  some  heroism  in  sending  you  this  stuff,  which  I  desire 
you  will  give  me  credit  for;  but  you  must  afford  me  a  little 
compassion  also,  for  it  is  mortifying  to  find  myself  excluded  by 
my  own  incapacity  from  so  delightful  an  association.  It  is 
said,  "  A  bird  that  can  sing,  and  won't  sing,  must  be  made 
to  sing ; "  but  I  have  tried  to  sing  and  cannot,  so  you  must 
bear  with  me. 

I  tried  to  begin  the  second  canto ;  but  enough  of  this  non- 
sense. Do  not  you  relinquish  the  plan. 

I  have  been  very  seriously  ill  almost  ever  since  I  last  wrote ; 
very  ill  in  body,  worse  in  mind,  in  my  head ;  sometimes  in  that 
state,  that  if  I  had  had  a  friend  near  me,  I  should  have  caught 
hold  of  him,  imploring  him  to  save  me  from — I  know  not  what. 
I  was  getting  a  little  better  when  your  last  letter  arrived.  The 
wind  came  to  the  south  that  day,  and  I  was  allowed  to  breathe 
it  in  the  gravel  walk  before  the  house,  when  a  bee  came  hum- 
ming about  me  with  its  summer  sound.  Those  three  circum- 
stances did  me  a  world  of  good — your  letter  most,  far  most ;  and 
then,  in  a  fit  of  grateful  valour,  I  set  about  my  task.  I  had 
put  it  off  and  off  till  then  from  a  cowardly  misgiving,  and  lo ! 
you  have  the  result.  Pray  do  not  love  me  the  less  because  I 
have  thus  disappointed  your  expectations.  Your  acknowledged 
predilection  for  Vro-ws  was  a  sort  of  presentiment  of  the  compli- 
ment to  be  paid  you  by  this  Dutch  lady.  I  envy  her  powers, 
and  wish  I  could  read  her  translation.  You  can  burn  this,  you 
know,  without  saying  anything  about  it,  which  will  do  as  well 
as  my  writing  upon  a  separate  paper,  for  in  truth  there  is  not 


enough  in  this  unhappy  head  of  mine  to  manage  the  business 
cleverly  now,  and  alas !  for  the  secret. 

Pray  write  to  me,  if  only  to  scold.  What  would  I  give  for 
only  one  poor  half-hour  of  your  society  now  and  then  !  A  let- 
ter from  you  is  next  in  value.  Tell  me  if  "Paraguay"  goes 
on,  and  "Oliver  Newman."  I  had  a  great  deal  to  say,  but 
forget  all  now,  except  that  I  am 

Your  most  affectionate  friend, 



KESWICK,  April  24th,  1824. 

If  I  were  to  wait  some  ten  days  or  a  fortnight,  I  should 
convince  you  in  a  very  effectual  manner  that  the  grand  alliance 
is  not  at  an  end,  by  sending  you  back  the  substance  of  your 
own  lines  in  another  form.  You  shall  see  them  taken  up  and 
recast,  when  the  first  canto  is  finished ;  but  I  will  not  delay 
telling  you  that  you  must  not  be  disheartened  because  you  have 
failed  to  satisfy  yourself  with  your  first  lesson  in  a  new  style  of 
art.  It  is  what  would  happen  to  you  in  music  or  in  painting. 

That  it  is  difficult  to  fall  into  this  mode  of  versification  I 
believe,  because  you  find  it  so,  and  because  one  other  person 
who,  though  not  like  yourself,  a  poet  in  heart  and  soul,  rhymes 
with  sufficient  ease  and  dexterity,  made  an  attempt  and  failed 
in  it.  But  that  it  is  of  all  modes  the  easiest,  when  once 
acquired,  I  am  perfectly  certain,  and  so  you  will  find  it.  But 
rather  than  break  the  alliance,  we  would  turn  it  into  rhyme. 
This  will  not  be  required. 

You  have  only  to  learn  what  the  simple  principles  are  upon- 
which  these  lines  are  constructed ;  perhaps  they  may  be  reduced 
to  this  simple  and  single  one,  that  every  line  should  in  itself  be 
a  complete  verse,  a  rule  which,  in  the  ordinary  heroic  cadence, 


would  admit  lines  of  four,  six,  eight,  and  ten  syllables.  That 
cadence  (the  iambic,  that  is  to  say,  the  short  syllable  followed 
by  the  long,  for  example — 

What  heart  sojirm,  what  nature  so  severe} 

should  not  be  mixed  with  a  different  one  (the  trochaic,  which  is 
long  and  short,  nor  the  galloping  ones,  with  one  accent  in  three 
syllables)  in  the  same  sentence,  unless  for  the  sake  of  produc- 
ing a  peculiar  and  designed  effect.  And  then  they  must  be 
blended,  as  you  shade  colours  into  each  other  in  your  land- 
scapes. Look  at  some  of  my  minor  poems,  and  at  parts  of 
"  Thalaba,"  and  you  will  see  what  experiments  I  have  made 
in  this  way.  I  wish  I  were  with  you.  I  should  teach  you 
as  boys  are  taught  to  compose  Latin  verses,  by  making  them 
write  mere  nonsense,  till  they  learn  the  tune  and  the  mechanism 
of  the  metre. 

I  write  to  tell  you  this,  and  put  you  in  good  humour  with 
yourself  and  the  alliance ;  otherwise  I  would  have  waited  in  the 
hope,  and  almost  with  the  expectation,  that  tomorrow  I  might 
have  sent  you  the  inscription  upon  your  noble  cousin.  After 
twice  beginning,  I  am  now  in  a  fair  way  of  finishing  it,  and  it 
shall  be  sent  you  as  soon  as  it  is  in  a  fit  state  for  transcription, 
though  it  may  probably  receive  many  corrections  before  it  goes 

But  I  must  break  off,  for  I  have  letters  of  business  to  write. 
So,  dear  Caroline,  farewell  for  the  present.  This  weather  I 
hope  will  bring  health  to  you,  as  it  does  enjoyment  to  birds, 
brutes,  and  vegetables. 

Once  more  farewell. 




BUCKLAND,  May  5th,  1824. 

I  have  received  both  your  letters ;  the  first,  you  will  be  sur- 
prised to  hear,  but  one  day  earlier  than  the  second,  dated  four 
days  later.     Of  the  second  and  its  enclosure  I  must  first  speak, 
to  tell  you  that  the  latter* — that  most  beautiful  and  touching 
tribute  to  the  memory  of  one  long  lost,  but  dearly  remembered 
— has  imparted  to  my  feelings  such  deep  and  soothing  delight, 
such  pure  and  sweet  contentment,  as  I  firmly  believe  no  human 
agency  save  yours  could  have  produced  in  me.    Yours  is  a  holy, 
a  blessed  power,  and  many  are  the  hearts  that  will  bear  witness 
with  mine   that  it  is  so,  when  that  volume   of   records   shall 
come  forth.     But  I  am  commissioned  with  other  thanks  (and 
yet  how  imperfectly  have  I  expressed  my  own  grateful  feel- 
ings!)— the  mother  of  him  whose    memory   you    have   saved 
from  the  oblivion  into  which  it  would  have  been  consigned, 
when  the  hearts  in  which  it  now  lives  are  cold.     His  mother 
was  with  me  when  I  received  your  last  letter,  and  you  would 
have  been  perfectly,  yet  painfully,  rewarded,  had  you  seen  the 
" j°7  °f  grief"  with  which  she  dwelt  ever  since  on  that  precious 
record,  and  heard  the  tone  in  which  she  at  last  found  strength  to 
utter,  "  Such  was  my  dear  child !  "  and  then  she  tried  to  frame 
such  words  of  grateful  acknowledgment  as  might  convey  to  you, 
through  me,  a  part  of  what  she  felt.     They  were  very  inar- 
ticulate thanks ;  but  I  will  not  profane  the  true  language  of 
the  heart  (which  you  will  be  at  no  loss  to  comprehend)  by  com- 
pressing it  into  the  poverty  of  words.     We  both  bless  you. 

Now  for  your  first  letter.  You  would  fain  encourage  me, 
and  comfort  and  help  me,  in  despite  of  your  conscience,  and  I 
am  more  gratified  by  your  kindness  to  me  than  mortified  by  my 
own  incapacity,  for  such  it  is,  say  what  you  will;  and  you 
cannot  but  see  it  too,  not  only  as  to  the  construction  of  the 

*  The  Inscription,  "  To  the  Memory  of  Paul  Burrard." 


verse,  but  as  to  the  substance  of  the  thing,  the  poverty  of  ideas 
of  language,  of  everything. 

I  do  not  think  the  metre  would  be  difficult  to  any  but  the 
dullest  of  all  creatures ;  and  as  for  rhyme,  it  would  be  equally 
unattainable  to  me  now,  and  ideas  I  have  none,  and  fancy  I 
have  none,  nor  hope,  nor  courage :  nothing  but  feeling,  and 
that  mute ;  and  wishes,  and  they  are  futile ;  and  regret, 
and  that  is  unreasonable,  for  I  ought  to  have  known  myself 
better.  You  will  send  me,  though,  the  remainder  of  the  first 
canto,  will  you  not?  The  arrival  of  those  fragments  made  such 
pleasant  epochs  in  my  life  of  nothingness. 

I  have  had  a  comical  enough  adventure  lately.  A  dashing 
Captain  of  Lancers,  who  has  taken  it  into  his  head  to  turn 
author,  took  it  into  his  head  also  to  send  me  his  precious  MS. 
and  to  ask  through  a  mutual  friend  my  opinion  of  the  same, 
intimating  that  he  should  have  the  honour  to  call  on  me  and 
reclaim  his  papers.  Lo !  what  should  this  sublime  production 
turn  out  to  be  but  a  satirical  poem  mostly  aimed  at  yourself — 
vile,  execrable,  miserable  trash.  So  I  sent  it  back  to  its  author 
post  haste,  with  a  little  courteous  billet  declining  the  honour 
of  being  acquainted  with  him,  and  recommending  him,  as  he 
flattered  me  by  asking  my  advice,  to  take  his  work  to  Hone, 
or  Sherwood,  or  The  Byron's  Head,  or  some  other  treason  and 
blasphemy  shop,  where  it  might  possibly  meet  with  a  publisher. 
I  have  heard  nothing  more  of  the  reptile.* 

Farewell,  dear  friend. 


*  In  reply — May  10th — Southey  writes: — "Your  adventure  with  the 
Satirist  is  an  amusing  one.  I  remember  writing  in  a  printed  satire  of  this 
kind  many  years  ago  these  lines  from  a  play  of  Sir  William  Davenant,  for 
myself  and  the  friends  who  were  therein  ahused  with  me  : — 

"  '  Libels  of  such  weak  texture  and  composure 
That  we  do  all  esteem  it  greater  wrong 
T'  have  our  name  extant  in  such  paltry  verse 
Than  in  the  slanderous  sense.' 

I  thank  God  that,  as  I  have  among  my  friends  some  of  the  hest  and  wisest 




KESWICK,  June  7tht  1824. 

I  am  under  the  visitation  of  my  annual  cold,  which  con- 
demns me  for  a  great  part  of  every  day  to  idleness.  In  the 
morning  I  do  not  rise  before  breakfast,  because  this  visitor 
rises  with  me,  and  very  soon  afterwards  I  am  fain  to  lie  back 
on  the  sofa,  and  close  my  eyes,  which  have  no  complaint  of 
their  own,  but  are  incapable  of  bearing  the  light,  while  the 
membrane  which  lines  the  nose  and  the  throat  are  in  a  state 
of  such  extreme  excitability.  First  I  tried  repose,  and  that 
almost  long  enough  to  disable  me  from  exertion,  by 
putting  me,  what  is  called  out  of  condition;  then  I  tried 
exercise,  and  am  now  again  resigned  to  inaction  and  a  darkened 
room,  with  an  upper  lip  which  no  razor  dare  approach,  and 
a  proboscis  half  excoriated  by  the  frequent  visits  of  the  pocket- 
handkerchief.  In  1799,  when  I  had  the  first  of  these  inveterate 
catarrhs  (which  I  never  failed  to  have  every  year  since,  except 
when  I  was  in  Portugal),  I  wrote  an  ode  upon  it,  being  at 
that  time  Poet  Laureate  to  the  Morning  Post,  and  it  is  worthy 
of  being  transferred  from  the  rough  copy  in  my  desk  to  Edith's 
magnifico  album.  Behold  a  specimen  of  it ! — 

Weave  the  warp  and  weave  the  woof, 

The  pocket-handkerchief  for  me  ; 
Give  ample  room  and  verge  enough 

To  hold  the  flowing  sea. 
Heard  ye  the  din  of  trumpets  bray — 

Nose  to  napkin,  nostril-force, 
Hot  currents  urge  their  way, 
And  thro'  the  double  fountain  take  their  course. 

of  their  age,  so  I  have  for  my  enemies  the  veriest  wretches  that  disparage 
nature.  This  Lancer  is  only  a  poor  coxcomb,  but  I  have  them  in  all  degrees 
of  ass-ishness,  and  in  all  degrees  of  baseness  and  villainy,  from  your  officer 
up  to  Lord  Juan  the  Giaour." 


Mark  the  social  hours  of  night 
When  the  house-roof  shall  echo  with  affright, 

The  sneezes'  sudden  thunder ! 

The  neighbours  rise  in  wonder, 
A  room- quake  follows  :  each  upon  his  chair 
Starts  at  the  fearful  sound  and  interjects  a  prayer. 

Just  half  my  life  has  elapsed  since  that  ode  was  written,  and 
among  those  parts  of  my  character  which  remain  unaffected  by 
time,  the  love  of  nonsense,  as  you  may  perceive,  is  one. 

Since  you  heard  from  me  I  have  scarcely  been  able  to  write 
anything  except  a  review  of  Hayley's  "  Memoirs  "  which  I  went 
through  doggedly,  making  what  I  could  of  materials  not  very 
good  in  themselves,  and  miserably  put  together  by  their  author. 
Having,  however,  some  gratitude  for  Hayley  for  introducing 
me  by  his  notes  to  the  Spanish  poets — a  good  deal  of  respect 
for  his  love  of  literature  and  the  arts,  and  the  country,  for  his 
total  exemption  from  all  envious  feelings,  his  attachment  to  his 
friends — above  all,  for  his  devotion  to  that  poor  son — I  have 
spoken  of  him  in  a  style  very  different  from  the  prevailing 
tone  of  Magazines  and  Reviews. 

You  asked  me  once  about  Mary  Wollstonecraft :  I  had  never 
seen  her  when  that  dedication  was  written.  I  saw  her  after- 
wards three  or  four  times  when  she  was  Mrs.  Godwirf,  and  never 
saw  a  woman  who  would  have  been  better  fitted  to  do  honour 
to  her  sex,  if  she  had  not  fallen  on  evil  times,  and  into  evil 
hands.  But  it  is  hardly  possible  for  anyone  to  conceive  what 
those  times  were,  who  has  not  lived  in  them. 

I  wish  Landor's  book  may  fall  in  your  way ;  still  more  do 
I  wish  that  you  could  see  Landor  himself,  who  talks  as  that 
book  is  written,  as  if  he  spoke  in  thunder  and  lightning. 
Such  of  the  sheets  as  frightened  the  publisher  were  sent  to 
me,  and  I  struck  out  what  would  either  have  given  most 
offence  here,  or  endangered  his  personal  safety  where  he  is. 
How  it  is  received  I  know  not,  and  indeed  I  know  nothing  of 
what  is  going  on  in  the  world  of  London,  except  that  Edith 
is  not  yet  ball-sick,  and  that  poor  Bertha,  I  believe,  is  home- 
sick. The  former  goes  into  Devonshire  at  the  end  of  this 


month  with  Lady  Malet ;  the  latter  to  the  neighbourhood  of 
Portsmouth  with  the  Eickmans;  and  in  case  she  should  pass 
your  way  in  any  of  their  excursions — which  is  by  no  means 
unlikely — I  shall  tell  her  when  she  may  hope  to  give  you  a 
passing  call.  We  are  parching  here  for  want  of  rain.  The 
History  of  the  "  West  Indies  "  is  my  brother  Tom's.  I  hear  to- 
day that  Bowles  is  out  of  health,  and  depressed  by  it.  He- 
is  at  present  in  London.  How  are  you?  and  is  your  sing- 
ing time  come  ?  for  come  it  will.  Love  from  all  here.  Cuthbert 
would  be  delighted  to  see  you,  and  your  Sultan  also,  being  a 
great  admirer  of  what  he  used  to  call  oodleoos.* 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 



CHELTENHAM,  June  20th,  1824. 

Were  you  to  write  about  a  broomstick,  the  essay  would  be 
sure  to  furnish  forth  something  infinitely  entertaining ;  there- 
fore I  expect  to  be  entertained  by  your  review  of  Hayley  ?s 
"Memoirs,"  but  the  book  itself  is  to  me  the  most  miserable, 
meagre,  affected,  ill-arranged  string  of  common-places  I  ever 
yawned  over.  You  are  more  tenderhearted  and  indulgent  than 
I  am.  I  cannot  give  Hayley  credit  for  all  the  feeling  he  pre- 
tends to.  Feeling  does  not  thrust  itself  into  notice  so  perpetu- 
ally :  feeling  does  not  flow  into  verse,  or  even  words,  at  the  first 
moment  of  excitement,  though  I  know  that,  when  it  subsides 
into  calm  melancholy,  poetry  is  its  natural  language.  Hayley 
wrote  epitaphs  upon  his  dearest  friends  before  their  eyes  were 
well  closed — a  sort  of  poetical  carrion  crow!  I  never  could 
have  endured  that  man,  with  all  his  tender  epitaphs.  I  dare- 

*  Query — Cocks,  from  cockadoodledoos  ? 


say  lie  helped  to  drive  his  poor  wife  mad — "his  pitiably  irri- 
table Eliza."  There  is  something  very  unsatisfactory  even  in 
his  attention  to  the  poor  youth,  his  son.  How  strange  that  he 
should  choose  only  to  visit  him  in  the  day-time,  making  Felp- 
ham  his  own  residence. 

But  all  the  particulars  of  Hayley's  life  did  not  bear  telling. 

Now,  by  so  much  as  I  am  more  splenetic,  and  more  un- 
charitable than  you,  am  I  more  fit  for  a  critic. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 

Ever  affectionately  yours, 



KESWICK,  July  4th,  1824. 

Hayley's  book  is  as  bad  as  you  describe  it,  and  there  is 
truth  enough  in  your  view  of  his  character  to  justify  its  sever- 
ity. Yet  he  has  his  better  points,  and  I  verily  believe  the 
worst  thing  he  ever  did  was  writing  those  Memoirs ;  for,  as 
they  stand,  they  have  the  deadly  sin  of  dulness,  and  as  he  left 
them  they  were  much  more  sinful.  By  way  of  explaining  his 
domestic  history,  he  intended  to  publish  details  which  ought  not 
to  have  been  whispered  even  in  a  confessional.  Yet  you  will 
see  that  Mrs.  H.  must  have  made  no  secret  of  the  matter  to 
Miss  Seward.  Perhaps  I  am  the  more  inclined  to  excuse  him, 
because  his  wife  has  made  a  very  disagreeable  impression  upon 
me  by  a  silly,  or  worse  than  silly,  essay  called  "  The  Triumph 
of  Acquaintance  over  Friendship."  I  like  him,  not  for  his 
writings  as  you  may  well  suppose,  but  for  his  love  of  litera- 
ture. It  is  so  rare  a  thing  to  find  a  man  in  Hayley's  rank  who 
prefers  it  to  dogs,  or  horses,  or  guns,  the  common  dissipations,  or 
the  common  business  of  the  world  (which  is  not  much  better), 
that  I  could  forgive  him  even  if  his  epitaphs  had  been  more 


numerous  and  worse  than  they  are.  You  are  right  about  the 
nature  of  his  feeling  ;  it  was  of  a  kind  that  easily  worked  itself 
off.  As  far  as  my  observation  extends,  those  persons  recover 
soonest  from  their  sorrow  who  let  it  take  its  full  course  at  first. 

Whether  I  have  done  as  well  with  Hayley  as  you  are  pleased 
to  say  I  should  have  done  with  a  broomstick  you  will  pro- 
bably soon  see.  But  for  your  sake  I  certainly  will  try  what 
I  can  do  with  the  latter  subject ;  it  does  me  as  much  good  to 
indulge  sometimes  in  nonsense  as  it  did  Hayley  to  draw  off  his 
sensibility  in  a  sonnet. 

Dear  Caroline,  Grod  bless  you. 



KESWICK,  August  12th,  1824. 

Dear  friend,  what  is  become  of  you  ?  Day  after  day  I  have 
lived  in  hopes  of  hearing  that  you  were,  laying  in  a  new  stock  of 
health.  There  is  a  physical  regeneration  which  sometimes  takes 
place.  You  have  a  great  deal  to  do,  and  I  have  a  great  deal  to 
do  which  will  not  be  done  without  you.  If  I  have  done  nothing 
of  late,  it  is  because  I  have  not  risen  early  enough  to  write  before 
breakfast  since  I  commenced  invalid.  The  attack  has  been  an 
ugly  one,  and  continued  long.  I  am  now  tolerably  recovered, 
though  there  are  yet  some  remains  of  the  cough ;  but  I  am 
regaining  strength,  and  have  taken  my  first  long  walk  to-day. 

This  day  completes  my  fiftieth  year.  Neither  of  my  parents 
lived  to  complete  their  fifty-first. 

August  2lst. — A  friend  has  just  sent  me  from  America  the 
account  of  Philip's  War,  written  by  the  son  of  the  man  who 
commanded  when  Philip  was  killed.  It  has  been  procured  at 
last,  after  a  search  of  seven  years,  and  it  contains  portraits  of 
Philip  and  of  Captain  Benjamin  Church,  the  hero  of  the  history. 


Can  anything  be  more  incongruous  with  dignified  poetry  than 
the  name  of  this  latter  person  ?  Yes — his  portrait  is  even  more 
so.  But  I  wish  I  could  show  you  both,  for  you  have  a  liking 
for  odd  things,  and  these  I  am  sure  would  amuse  you.  I  am 
bound,  however,  to  pursue  this  long-delayed  poem,*  in  justice 
to  my  Transatlantic  acquaintances,  who  are  looking  so  eagerly 
for  it,  and  have  been  singularly  obliging  in  providing  me  with 
everything  they  could  find  relating  to  those  times.  And  I  have 
a  strong  reason  for  wishing  not  to  leave  it  like  "  the  story  of 
Cambuscan  bold,"  which  is,  that  if  it  were  completed  I  could 
obtain  a  good  sum  for  it. 

Dear  Caroline,  God  bless  you. 



BUCKLAKT),  August  29£A,  1824. 

You  are  almost  the  only  living  creature  in  whom  I  have 
never  found  myself  mistaken  or  disappointed,  and  you  do  not 
shun  me  because  I  am  in  sorrow,  as  is  the  world's  way,  and  as 
I  have  bitterly  experienced  in  times  past  from  some  who  had 
sought  and  caressed  me  in  my  happier  days.  Well,  one  friend 
of  all  weathers  would  compensate  for  the  unkindness  of  fifty 
such  worlds ;  and  if  I  have  found  you  late,  it  is  not  too  late,  for, 
as  you  say,  we  shall  meet  "  surely  and  lastingly  hereafter." 
Grod  grant  we  may  here,  and  I  do  not  despair  of  it,  because, 
though  hopeless  of  the  physical  regeneration  you  speak  of,  mine 
is  not  a  disease  that  very  quickly  accomplishes  its  work. 

I  hope  you  are  now  able  to  enjoy  this  lovely  weather  (if  it 
is  as  lovely  with  you  as  with  us),  and  to  take  the  exercise  so 
necessary  to  you.  I  often  shut  my  eyes,  and  see  myself 
standing  with  you  on  the  point  of  Friar's  Crag,  the  spot  to 

*  "  Oliver  Newman." 
F  2 


which  we  walked  so  frequently.  I  see  the  fretwork  pavement 
as  plain  as  when  I  stood  upon  it ;  the  crags  and  stones  be- 
neath ;  the  red  boles  of  the  tall  firs,  through  which  we  looked 
up  towards  the  grand  pass  into  Borrodale,  and  that  conical 
mountain  that  stood  like  a  sentinel  at  its  entrance,  always  more 
darkly  blue  than  its  surrounding  brethren.  Such  visions  often 
fill  me  with  a  strange  impatience  that  I  cannot,  like  a  glance  of 
the  mind,  overleap  time  and  space,  and  be  corporeally  where  I 
am  in  spirit.  My  present  state  is  a  very  restless  one.  I  am 
suffering  terribly,  night  and  day,  from  past  over-excitement 
and  the  dead  calm  which  has  succeeded  to  it.*  I  cannot  fix  to 
anything,  and  my  strange  fancy  of  the  moment  is  that  I  should 
like  to  be  out  on  the  sea  in  some  little  boat  that  danced  upon 
the  waves,  and  over  which  the  cool  spray  might  dash  upon  me. 
As  a  proof  of  my  consistency  of  character,  be  it  known  to  you 
that  I  never  willingly  stepped  into  a  boat  in  my  life,  being  in 
truth  a  very  coward  on  the  water. 

You  have  sent  me  a  beautiful  continuation  of  the  work  in 
which  I  have  proved  so  miserable  a  defaulter.  I .  hastened  to 
unite  it  to  the  preceding  part,  and  to  read  all  over  together,  with 
an  interest  I  scarce  thought  myself  still  susceptible  of.  I  shall 
always  have  a  peculiar  interest  in  that  poem,  for  you  mil  com- 
plete it.  And  I  am  glad  to  hear  your  Transatlantic  friends  have, 
in  a  manner,  bound  you  to  the  completion  of  Oliver  Newman, 
and  that  you  are  likely  to  be  remunerated  by  something  more 
solid  than  barren  admiration.  You  have  not  shown  much 
genius  for  bargaining  hitherto. 

Here  is  the  Quarterly  Review  just  sent  me,  and  where  are 
you  ?  No  review  of  Hayley,  as  you  promised  me,  and  I  sent 
for  the  Review  on  purpose.  Is  anything  in  it  yours  ?  As  yet 
I  have  only  looked  over  the  list  of  contents. 

My  mind  misgave  me  that  "The  Mariner's  Hymn"  would 
not  chime  easily  into  music.  The  other  would  have  fallen  into 
tune  better  ;  but  if  the  first  is  too  long,  the  second  is  still  more 
inadmissible  on  that  score,  nor  is  it  of  the  description  of  poem 
wanted.  I  have  tried  my  hand  again,  but  I  fear  very  un- 

*  Following  the  illness  and  death  of  her  aged  nurse. 


successfully,  both  as  to  subject  and  expression,  and  length  too, 
for  I  could  not  get  it  into  shorter  compass,  and  I  could  not 
keep  self  out  of  it,  as  I  would  fain  have  done,  nor  strike  a  note 
but  upon  one  chord.  There  was  an  ancient  instrument  called  a 
"  monochord,"  I  think.  My  poetic  harp  is  such  a  one,  its  dia- 
pason embracing  but  the  single  string  responsive  to  the  feeling 
of  the  moment,  and  I  have  no  powers  to  vary  the  monotonous 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend ;  bless  and  preserve  you. 


P.  S. — You  wrote  to  me  on  your  birthday.  I  shall  not 
forget  that  day  if  I  live  till  its  next  anniversary.  If  I  live 
till  the  sixth  of  next  December,  I  shall  then  complete  my 
thirty- seventh  or  thirty-eighth  year ;  I  am  not  certain  which. 
There  is  a  cruel  kindness  in  keeping  (particularly  marking) 
the  birthdays  of  children  and  young  people.  I  have  felt  it  to 
be  so,  since  one  by  one  every  voice  has  been  silenced  that  was 
wont  to  hail  the  anniversary  of  mine.  The  next  sixth  of 
December  will  be  doubly  a  wintry  day  to  me,  for  it  will  be 
the  first  in  my  remembrance  that  will  bring  with  it  no  tribute 
of  affection.  My  dear  bonne,  according  to  the  custom  of  her 
country,  used  always  to  bring  me  a  nosegay  on  that  morning ; 
yes,  flowers  even  on  that  wintry  day;  and  I  believe  if  we 
had  dwelt  on  the  Great  St.  Bernard  she  would  have  contrived 
to  find  some  among  its  eternal  snows.  No  voice,  no  kiss,  no 
flowers  now.  It  will  be  all  winter. 



KESWICK,  September  10M,  1824. 

Dear  Caroline — Thank  you  for  your  verses,  which  I  tran- 
scribed rather  than  [part  with  the  original,  and  sent  to  the  poor 


musician.  I  send  you  his  Prospectus,  and  take  it  for  granted 
that  he  will  send  you  the  work. 

I  am  fairly  rid  of  my  annual  disease,  and  in  other  respects 
materially  better  than  when  my  last  was  written — so  much  so 
that  I  was  on  the  summit  of  Helvellyn  last  week.  Send  me  as 
good  an  account  of  your  amendment,  and  we  will  look  on  to 
many  meetings,  some  of  them,  I  hope,  here,  in  this  lovely 

Soon  I  shall  have  more  verses  to  send  you.  You  have  not 
proved  yourself  a  defaulter  yet.  And  I  have  more  schemes 
for  you.  I  have  plans  for  three  or  four  plays  which  you 
could  execute,  for  you  will  not  pretend  to  deny  or  doubt  that 
you  can  write  dramatically. 

To  day  we  heard  from  Bertha  and  of  Edith.  Bertha  is 
still  near  Portsmouth  in  high  health  and  spirits.  Of  Edith 
I  heard  from  Lightfoot,  under  whose  roof  she  is  at  this  time. 
If  she  is  not  contented  there,  it  will  not  be  for  want  of  kind- 
ness on  the  part  of  the  family,  for  if  a  dog  were  to  scratch  at 
Lightfoot's  door  with  my  name  on  his  collar,  he  would  be 
taken  into  the  parlour,  and  made  as  much  of  as  your  poor1 
old  Eanger,  whom  I  remember  in  a  manner  that  proves  the 
truth  of  the  old  saying. 

This  is  a  hasty  letter,  but  I  shall  soon  write  again  when  I 
transmit  a  few  more  stanzas,  and  two  half  letters  are  better 
than  one  whole  one. 

God  bless  you. 



KESWICK,  November  13th,  1824. 

If  procrastination   is   the   thief  of  time,  letter-writing  is 
quite  as  great  a  one,  and  I  find  the  two  thieves  very  closely 


connected.  Some  unexpected  epistle  arrives  which  is  neither 
wanted  nor  welcome,  but  which  must  be  answered ;  or  some 
other  demand  upon  my  hours  is  made,  for  which  I  am  neither 
prepared  nor  willing,  and  then  the  intention  which  had  been 
formed,  of  writing  that  evening  to  you,  stands  over  for  the 
morrow ;  and  when  the  morrow  comes,  other  interruptions 
of  the  same  kind  occur,  and  prevent  me  from  passing  an  hour 
according  to  my  wishes. 

In  reply  to  your  letter,  thank  Mr.  St.  Barbe  in  what 
manner  seems  best  to  you,  for  Pope's  letter,  which  I  shall  be 
very  glad  to  have.  Take  for  your  own  collection — as  the  first 
which  has  turned  up — a  note  of  Charles  Lamb's,  relating  to  a 
review  of  Wordsworth's  Excursion  written  by  him  at  my  request 
for  the  Quarterly,  and  inserted  there,  but  so  mangled  by  Clifford 
as  to  be  absolutely  spoiled.  It  will  go  very  well  in  the  frank, 
and  I  will  send  you  others  as  I  meet  with  them. 

Cuthbert  is  now  in  the  very  honeymoon  of  his  happiness, 
having  just  been  breeched;  breeching,  as  I  tell  Sara,  being 
to  a  boy  what  marrying  is  to  a  young  lady,  the  great  thing 
in  life  which  is  looked  on  to,  and  I  ask  her  seriously  which  she 
thinks  the  greatest  happiness.  I  wish  you  could  see  Cuthbert ; 
during  dinner  he  lifts  up  his  pin-before  to  look  at  the  buttons. 
It  is  pleasant  to  see  him,  and  yet  the  change  is  not  one  which 
brings  with  it  any  cheerful  thoughts,  for  it  takes  away  the 
charm  of  childhood,  and  what  charm  is  there  in  this  world 
equal  to  it ! 

Landor  has  sent  over  another  volume  of  Conversations  to  the 
press.  Differing  as  I  do  from  him  in  constitutional  temper, 
and  in  some  serious  opinions,  he  is  yet  of  all  men  living  the 
one  with  whom  I  feel  the  most  entire  and  cordial  sympathy 
in  heart  and  mind ;  were  I  a  single  man,  I  should  think  the 
pleasure  of  a  week's  abode  with  him  cheaply  purchased  by  a 
journey  to  Florence,  though,  pilgrim-like,  the  whole  way  were 
to  be  performed  on  foot.  The  title  of  his  book  reminds  me 
of  Lord  Byron's  Conversations  as  let  off  by  his  blunderbuss 
Captain  Medwin.  I  have  only  seen  some  newspaper  extracts. 
I  fastened  his  name  upon  the  gibbet  (as  I  told  him) ;  his  friends 


have  now  exposed  him  there  in  chains.     I  am  told  there  is  no 
mention  of  my  correspondence  with  Shelley.     Shelley  probably 
kept  it  to  himself.     Miserable  men  that  they  were — both  scr~~ 
gifted — and  so  guilty  ! 

Since  my  last  I  have  not  composed  any  verses  except  a  few 
stanzas  of  the  Paraguay,  which  is  the  plague  of  my  life,  but  I 
have  been  getting  on  with  the  History  and  the  Dialogues.  Grod 
bless  you,  my  dear  friend. 

Yours  faithfully, 



BUCKXAND,  November  13^,  1824. 

Pray  give  me  some  token  that  you  are  on  this  side  Heaven, 
dear  friend !  I  am  rather  disquieted  at  your  long  silence ;  the 
more  so,  as  when  you  wrote  last  Cuthbert  was  only  then  recover- 
ing from  a  serious  illness.  Tell  me  you  and  all  yours  are  well, 
and  then  I  shall  have  no  further  uneasiness  than  the  fear  that  you 
should  think  me  a  little  importunate.  But  you  must  remember 
that  I  live  out  of  myself  and  my  solitary  home,  and  so  entirely 
in  those  I  love  and  all  that  concerns  them,  that  I  am  perhaps 
more  excusable  for  taking  alarm  than  those  who  are  surrounded 
by  friends  and  families;  and  all  my  social  intercourse  is  epis- 

I  believe,  however,  I  should  have  waited  patiently  a  little 
longer  but  for  a  piece  of  literary  intelligence  which  reached  me 
yesterday,  at  which  perhaps  you  will  laugh  only  when  you 
hear  it,  if,  indeed  (as  is  most  probable),  you  are  not  already 
better  informed  than  I  am  respecting  it.  Have  you  heard  that 
there  is  preparing  for  publication,  under  the  auspices  and 
patronage,  &c.,  of  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  a  History  of  the 
Peninsular  War?  The  thing  is  certain.  It  is  much  talked  of 


in  the  higher  circles,  from  whence  the  report  has  travelled 
straight  to  me  in  my  no  circle  at  all.  But  it  surprises  and 
annoys  me,  as  I  cannot  understand  what  can  induce  the  Duke 
to  promote  a  thing  of  the  kind,  knowing  and  approving  of 
yours ;  and,  moreover,  I  am  not  without  apprehension  that  it 
may  be  disadvantageous  to  you  in  two  ways — by  interfering  with 
the  sale  of  yours,  and  by  causing  him  to  withhold  from  you  such 
documents  and  information  as  may  be  essential  to  the  continua- 
tion of  your  noble  work.  Murray  advertises  your  second  volume 
for  this  month  I  see.  Pray  set  my  heart  at  rest  on  this  matter. 
Farewell,  and  God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 


I  have  been  staying  for  a  few  days  at  the  Rose's  lately,  and 
read  there  a  very  curious  and  interesting  collection  of  MS. 
letters,  which  is  in  their  possession — the  whole  correspondence, 
in  their  own  handwriting  and  very  voluminous,  of  Sir  Charles 
Hanbury  Williams  and  Catherine  of  Eussia  while  she  was 
Grand  Duchess,  and  before  the  death  of  Elizabeth.  The 
greater  part  of  the  large  subsidies  England  was  then  furnishing 
Catherine  with,  for  the  ostensible  furtherance  of  political  pur- 
poses, was  lavished  on  Poniatowski  through  the  very  channel 
(Sir  Charles)  by  which  she  obtained  it  from  hence. 


KESWICK,  November  llth,  1824. 

Your  news  is  new  to  me ;  but  it  does  not  surprise,  and  can 
in  no  degree  injure  me.  Indeed  I  do  not  think  it  will  affect 
Murray's  interest,  who  is  the  person  interested ;  for  the  intended 
work  will  prove  a  military  history  exclusively.  The  Duke 
refused  to  communicate  any  paper  to  me,  upon  the  ground  that 
he  reserved  them  for  such  a  work.  He  said  that  I  should  do 
as  everyone  who  wished  to  make  a  popular  work  would — 


ascribe  more  to  the  Spaniards  than  was  due  to  them.  In  this 
he  is  mistaken.  But  the  truth  is,  he  wants  a  whole-length 
portrait  of  himself,  and  not  an  historical  picture,  in  which  a 
great  many  other  figures  must  be  introduced.  By  good  fortune 
I  have  had  access  to  papers  of  his  of  a  much  more  confidential 
nature  than  he  himself  (I  am  very  sure)  would  entrust  to  anyone. 
And  I  have  only  to  wish  the  work  which  he  patronizes  may  come 
out  as  soon  as  possible,  that  I  may  make  use  of  it.  For  my  third 
volume,  in  all  likelihood,  it  will  come  in  time,  and  then  it  will 
save  me  some  trouble,  for  I  may  rely  upon  its  authority  in 
mere  military  points.  This  must  be  the  reason  why  Murray 
announces  my  second  volume  so  prematurely,  when  only  twenty- 
six  sheets  are  printed  out  of  a  hundred.  I  shall  neither  hurry 
myself,  nor  be  hurried.  And  you  need  not  be  told  that  I  shall 
everywhere  speak  of  the  Duke  exactly  as  I  should  have  done  if 
he  had  behaved  towards  me  with  more  wisdom.  Let  who  may 
write  the  military  history,  it  is  in  my  book  that  posterity  will 
read  of  his  campaigns.  And  if  there  had  been  nothing  but  a 
military  interest  in  the  story,  the  Duke  might  have  written  it 
for  me. 

Never,  I  pray  you,  suffer  yourself  to  be  annoyed  by  anything 
which  concerns,  or  seems  to  concern  me,  as  an  author,  for  in  that 
character  nothing  can  annoy  me.  I  go  on,  as  I  always  have 
done,  in  my  own  way,  endeavouring  to  do  what  seems  best, 
according  to  my  own  judgment,  with  all  diligence,  and  caring 
very  little  for  any  present  opinion  that  may  be  passed  upon 
my  works.  Like  Landor,  I  am  satisfied  if  I  please  ten  persons— 
who  are  competent  to  pronounce  an  opinion  upon  such  subjects. 

You  will  have  received  a  letter  before  this  time ;  but  I 
write  these  hasty  lines,  to  show  you  that  I  am  not  insensible  to 
your  solicitude  for  what  you  think  concerns  me.  Would  that 
you  were  within  reach !  and  yet  I  cannot  wish  you  here  at  this 
time,  when  for  the  last  seven  weeks  we  have  had  the  worst 
weather  that  I  can  remember  for  two-and-twenty  years. 

I  want  to  hear  what  the  Monster*  says   to   you.      That 

*  Blackwood. 


rascally  passage  concerning  Sir  Walter  Scott  which  was  can- 
celled in  the  London  Magazine,  beyond  all  doubt  must  have 
been  written  by  Hazlitt. 

Murray  is  in  water  as  near  the  scalding  point  as  flesh  and 
blood  can  bear  it  about  Lord  Byron.  This  it  is  to  have  any 
dealings  with  a  bad  man. 

God  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 



KESWICK,  November  26th,  1824. 

The  inclosure,*  as  you  will  have  guessed,  is  for  Mr.  St.  Barbe, 
to  whom  you  will  give  it  with  as  civil  an  expression  of  thanks  on 
my  part  as  his  civility  deserves.  Pope's  handwriting  I,  literally 
speaking,  should  not  have  known  from  that  of  my  aunt,  Miss 

I  reply  thus  immediately  to  your  letter,  that  I  may  thank 
you  while  the  impression  is  fresh,  for  the  extract  from  Captain 
Medwin,  of  which  otherwise  I  might  long  have  remained  in 
ignorance.  Undoubtedly  I  shall  notice  it,  and  most  probably 
as  I  did  his  Lordship's  former  attack — by  a  letter  in  the  news- 
papers, being  the  most  summary  method,  and  that  also  whereby 
the  most  extensive  circulation  may  be  obtained.  Should  you 
happen  to  have  the  book  at  hand,  tell  me  if  there  be  in  it 
anything  else  which  may  seem  to  you  to  require  any  observa- 
tion on  my  part.  There  will  be  plenty  of  time  for  this,  for  it 
is  of  no  importance  whether  my  letter  appear  a  week  hence,  or 
a  fortnight,  or  a  month.  It  is  not  for  the  sake  of  repelling  an 
accusation  that  I  notice  these  impudent  lies,  but  for  the  sake  of 
showing  that  those  who  have  advanced  them  are  impudent 

*  An  autograph  of  Southey,  in  exchange  for  one  of  Pope. 


liars.  To  what  an  extent  they  are  so  you,  who  have  seen  my 
correspondence  with  Shelley,  know.  I  am  only  sorry  you 
have  not  a  copy  of  it,  which  you  shall  have  one  of  these  days. 
It  would  not  become  me  to  publish  it  while  there  are  any 
persons  living  who  would  be  wounded  by  it :  as  for  such  dead  as 
those  to  whom  it  refers,  I  know  of  no  respect  or  tenderness  to 
which  they  are  entitled.  A  dead  dog  is  entitled  to  no  more 
than  a  living  one.  It  will  come  to  light  in  due  season.  You 
remember  Latimer's  saying  :  "  Well !  there  is  nothing  hid  but 
it  shall  be  opened." 

Have  you  heard  that  Hobhouse  printed  a  pamphlet  in  con- 
tradiction of  some  of  Medwin's  statements,  which  he  has  been 
prevailed  upon  by  his  friends  to  suppress,  because  it  would 
certainly  bring  on  a  duel.*  It  seems  he  had  given  Medwin  the 
lie  there  in  plain  terms ;  but  it  is  Lord  Byron,  and  not  his 
Blunderbuss,  who  is  the  liar.  The  Blunderbuss  has  only  let  off 
what  it  was  charged  with.  And  this  I  shall  take  care  to  say  in 
my  newspaper  epistle. 

"  Sick  and  alone"  are  sad  words  in  themselves,  and  more  so 
when  they  are  so  coupled.  If  wishes  would  avail,  you  should 
be  well  and  here. 

Grod  bless  you. 



KESWICK,  February  22nd,  1825. 

You  have  sent  me  one  of  the  things  in  the  world  which  I 
most  wished  to  possess,  and  yet  you  say  I  shall  not  thank  you 

*  Miss  Bowles  writes  in  reply :  "  Hobhouse's  suppressed  pamphlet  is  not 
destroyed  nor  unread,  and  if  the  heroes  are  sharp  set  they  may  get  up  a 
duel  yet." 


for  it.*  Likeness  enough  there  is ;  I  can  perceive  so  much  as 
to  fancy  it  more.  As  to  age,  you  are  almost  young  enough  to 
be  my  daughter,  and  for  the  other  character  which  you  give 
yourself,  would  to  Heaven  there  were  as  little  ground  for 
calling  yourself  sick!  No,  you  may  be  assured  I  will  not 
send  that  drawing  to  Somerset  House,  not  if  they  would 
give  me  the  finest  picture  that  ever  was  exhibited  there  in 
exchange  for  it. 

I  have  read  the  poem  with  too  much  pleasure  and  too  much 
pain  to  speak  of  it.f  True  it  is  as  a  picture  and  a  most  inte- 
resting one,  but  as  a  prophecy  true  only,  I  trust,  in  the  general 
truth  that  death  is  never  far  from  us.  You  are  lonely,  God 
knows ;  yet,  if  you  could  know  how  often  I  was  with  you  in 
thought,  you  would  feel  that  there  is  one  person  in  the 
world  who  regards  you  as  you  ought  to  be  regarded — as  you 
would  wish  him  to  regard  you.  How  difficult  is  it  when  we 
mean  a  great  deal,  not  to  say  either  too  little  or  too  much. 

I  am  acquainted  with  Mr.  Wilberforce,  but  have  neither 
seen  nor  heard  from  him  since  the  Book  of  the  Church  was 
published.  The  Bishop  of  London  has  written  to  me  saying 
he  hopes  to  see  Mr.  Butler's  "flimsy  structure  of  misrepresent- 
ation and  sophistry  "  overthrown  by  my  hand.  Some  progress 
is  made  in  my  reply,  and  more  it  would  have  been  if  I  had  not 
been  more  worthily  employed  upon  the  Tale  of  Paraguay.  I 
hope  and  believe  that  another  week  will  not  elapse  before  that 
is  completed.  Indeed  there  can  hardly  be  more  that  ten  stanzas 
to  write.  "When  the  last  is  written  I  will  write  off  to  you  in 
pure  joy  to  announce  my  deliverance,  for  a  deliverance  it  will 

In  my  last  letter  I  ought  to  have  said,  that  should  you  be 

*  In  a  letter  of  Feb.  17,  accompanying  a  drawing  which  included  her 
own  figure,  Miss  Bowles  writes — "  The  drawing  of  a  little  group  very  fine, 
very  scientific  as  you  will  see,  but  two  of  the  figures  are  faithful  portraits, 
and  for  the  third — one  can't  make  such  a  little  thing  look  sick,  old  and 
ugly — like,  that  is.  Don't  send  it  to  Somerset  House." 

t  A  poem  by  Caroline  Bowles  which  she  describes  as  "a  doleful  ditty, 
but  all  true." 


going  anywhere  for  change  of  air  or  to  drink  the  waters  at 
the  time  of  my  movement,  wherever  that  may  be,  I  will  take 
that  place  instead  of  Buckland  in  my  course.  So  you  are  not 
to  make  any  derangement  in  your  plans  on  my  account.  See 
you  I  will,  and  the  thought  of  seeing  you,  reconciles  me  more 
than  anything  else  that  I  look  on  to  in  leaving  home. 

One  word  more.  I  have  marked  in  my  note-books  from 
time  to  time  such  stories  or  hints  for  stories  as  in  the  course 
of  my  multifarious  reading  seemed  fit  for  ballads  or  other  tales 
in  verse.  If  you  will  try  your  hand  at  them,  you  shall  have  as 
many  as  would  make  a  capital  collection  for  Azor.* 

Dear  Caroline,  Grod  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  February  24^,  1825. 

I  promised  you  a  gazette  extraordinary,  and  here  it  is. 
This  morning  the  Tale  of  Paraguay  was  finished.  If  I  thought 
that  any  other  poem  would  give  me  half  the  trouble  that  this 
has  done,  I  should  forswear  verse  rather  than  encounter  it. 
Here  have  I  sat,  working  at  it  doggedly,  not  following  the-  , 
natural  course  of  thought  and  feeling,  which  always  leads  one 
the  best  way,  and  generally  the  shortest,  but  zig-zagging  after 
the  rhyme,  selecting  words  not  because  they  were  the  fittest, 
but  because  there  were  four  of  them  which  would  chime 
together,  and  abusing  my  own  fool's-head  for  getting  with 
open  eyes  into  such  a  scrape.  For  what  the  difficulty  would 
be  I  very  well  knew  from  the  first.  Finished,  however,  it  is, 
and  never  was  man  more  glad  of  his  deliverance. 

If  you  were  near  enough  I  would  call  you  in  to  "  rejoice 

*  i.  e.  Blackwood. 


with  me  ";  but  as  that  is  not  the  case,  you  will  be  glad  at  a 

Grod  bless  you. 



BTJCKLAXD,  February  27th,  1825. 

How  delighted  I  am  that  you  set  so  much  value  on  that 
thing  which  (after  it  was  gone)  I  would  have  recalled  if  pos- 
sible. But  I  need  not  have  so  repented ;  you  received  it 
in  the  same  spirit  in  which  it  was  sent,  and  in  that  confi- 
dence it  is  I  always  write  to  you  without  taking  thought, 
knowing  I  address  one  who  can  understand  me,  and  will 
never  mark  unkindly  what  would  be  ridiculous  or  amiss  to 
other  people. 

You  are  not  to  feel  any  painful  interest  in  that  little  poem. 
The  loneliness,  I  speak  of  there,  is  not,  will  not  be  desolate 
loneliness  while  you  think  of  me  as  you  say  you  do,  and  some- 
times tell  me  so,  as  you  have  done.  And  for  the  prophecy, 
those  are  not  my  darkest  moments  when  I  anticipate  its  pro- 
bable fulfilment.  On  the  contrary,  a  feeling  of  security  is 
mine  at  such  times  which  I  cannot  always  command  —  of 
security  that  I  shall  not  outlive  all  that  makes  life  still  desir- 
able. I  seem  to  have  stepped  over  a  great  gulf  dividing  me 
from  my  early  years  and  from  my  early  friends.  My  wish 
would  have  been,  I  think,  not  to  overstep  it,  not  to  have  gone 
further.  But  you  met  and  took  me  by  the  hand  on  the  brink 
of  that  dreary,  unknown  country ;  I  found  in  you  what  I  had 
never  met  with,  even  in  my  lost  Eden,  and  while  you  hold  me 
fast  I  shall  not  want  courage  to  go  on,  nor  inclination  to  tarry 
yet  a  little  longer  should  it  be  Grod's  pleasure. 

At  present  I  am  disposed  to  be  very  much  in  love  with 


life,  and  very  unwilling  to  leave  it  before  May.  I  had  no  idea 
whatever  of  moving  from  home  at  that  time,  and  I  would  not 
for  the  world  receive  your  visit  anywhere  else,  because  your 
having  been  here  (even  for  that  visit  volant  you  prepare  me  to 
expect)  will  leave  a  brightness  over  many  succeeding  months, 
and  I,  as  well  as  you,  converse  with  shadows.  If  it  were 
good  and  pleasant  for  yourself  to  stay  some  length  of  time  here 
how  hard  I  would  try  to  keep  you  !  but  what  is  best  for  your- 
self, that  shall  be  best  for  me,  so  come  without  fear  of  perse- 

I  have  just  got  Butler's  book.  My  motive  for  asking  if 
you  had  heard  from  Mr.  Wilberforce  was,  that  I  had  just 
received  a  letter  from  a  friend  of  his  (who  had  been  with  him 
the  day  before)  which  says,  speaking  of  your  Book  of  the 
Church  :  "  Mr.  Wilberforce  is  delighted  with  it,  but  regrets 
Dr.  Southey's  not  having  given  his  authorities."  Knock  them 
down  flat  with  authorities  in  your  answer  to  Butler. 

Grod  bless  you,  best  friend  of  mine. 

Yours  affectionately, 



KESWICK,  March  loth,  1825. 

I  spent  the  last  week  at  Wordsworth's,  mostly  (for  [the 
ground  was  covered  with  snow  two  days,  and  then  we  had  two 
days'  rain  to  clear  it  away)  in  extracting  from  good,  old,  out-of- 
the-way  books,  pills  for  Mr.  Butler,  some  of  which  will  be  bitter 
on  the  palate  but  very  wholesome  if  he  allow  them  to  operate 
fairly.  Your  character  of  his  book  is  drawn  with  perfect  truth. 
My  uncle  says  of  him,  "  His  contradicting  you  and  saying  that 
you  misstated  facts,  may  have  the  same  answer  as  Warburton 
gave  to  one  of  his  antagonists — it  may  be  so  for  all  he  knoivs  of 


the  matter."  My  reply  is  gone  to  the  press,  and  in  the  course 
of  a  week  I  shall  probably  have  the  first  proof-sheet.  I  am 
as  civil  as  he  is  at  the  beginning ;  but  as  for  the  spider's  web 
which  he  has  spun,  I  demolish  it  without  mercy. 

It  was  my  intention  to  have  written  to  you  from  Rydal, 
but  what  with  this  employment,  with  consulting  Wordsworth 
upon  what  I  had  written  of  this  reply,  and  making  some  alter- 
ations in  it,  hearing  some  of  his  poems  which  he  is  about  to 
insert  in  a  new  edition  of  his  works,  and  with  the  interrup- 
tion of  company,  the  time  was  fully  taken  up. 

I  ought  not  to  set  mournful  subjects  before  you,  but  here  is 
one  I  took  from  the  Acta  Sanctorum,  as  the  subject  for  a  poem, 
three  and  twenty  years  ago. 

In  the  wild  times  of  Irish  History,  some  four  or  five  hun- 
dred years  before  the  English  conquest  of  that  country,  one  of 
its  petty  kings  was  called  Endeus,  son  of  Counal,  a  youth  pre- 
destined to  be  a  monk  and  a  saint.  He  had  a  kinswoman, 
Fanchea  by  name,  who  was  an  abbess,  and  was  living  in  the 
odour  of  sanctity.  Endeus  returning  one  day  from  battle-  his 
men  singing  songs  of  victory,  stopt  at  her  convent,  where  she 
stood  in  the  gateway  and  forbade  him  to  approach  nearer, 
because  he  was  stained  with  blood.  He  justified  himself  for 
defending  the  kingdom  which  he  had  inherited  from  his  father ; 
but  she  told  him  his  father  was  gone  to  hell,  and  he  having 
inherited  his  sins,  was  in  the  way  to  follow  him.  Endeus  took 
this  very  patiently,  but  desired  her  to  bring  out  a  certain  maid 
of  royal  parentage  whom  she  was  educating,  and  give  her  to 
him  to  be  his  wife.  Saint  Fanchea  told  him  to  wait  a  .little 
while  and  she  would  presently  answer  him.  She  went  in, 
called  for  the  maiden,  and  said  to  her — "You  have  now  your 
choice ;  will  you  love  Him  whom  I  love,  or  will  you  have  an 
earthly  husband?"  The  virgin  preferred  a  heavenly  one. 
Saint  Fanchea  took  her  into  her  own  chamber,  and  bade  her 
lie  down  to  rest.  She  did  so,  and  immediately  died,  as  if 
she  had  fallen  asleep.  The  saint  then  covered  her  face, 
brought  the  young  king  into  the  chamber,  and  uncovering  the 
corpse  said  to  him — "Young  man,  behold  the  spouse  whom 


thou  desirest."     Of  course  he  entered  a  convent,  and  became  a 

I  think  you  can  make  something  of  this,  which,  though 
very  monkish  and  very  papistical,  is,  nevertheless,  well  fitted 
for  poetry. 

I  have  another  monkish  story  to  the  same  tenor — that  is, 
showing  that  death  is  the  best  thing — which  is  more  singular, 
if  it  be  not  in  some  of  its  circumstances  almost  too  puerile. 
Yet  it  impressed  me  very  much.  A  Portuguese  friar  (a  Do- 
minican), Bernardo  by  name,  taught  children  to  read  and  write 
in  his  convent  at  Santarem.  There  were  two  who  used  always 
to  come  together,  and  bring  their  breakfast  with  them,  and 
they  were  regularly  left  in  one  of  the  chapels  while  Bernardo 
performed  his  office  of  sacristan.  There  they  used  to  spread 
their  napkins  on  the  steps  of  the  altar,  and  take  their  meal. 
One  day  one  of  them  asked  the  infant  Jesus,  who  was  in  his 
mother's  arms  above  the  altar,  to  come  down  and  breakfast 
with  them.  The  invitation  was  accepted,  and  the  visitor  con- 
tinued to  do  so  every  day,  till  at  last  the  children  told  Bernardo, 
and  complained  that  the  Menino  Jesus  ate  very  heartily  of 
their  provisions,  but  never  brought  any  himself.  Delighted  at 
this,  the  friar  told  them  that  when  the  Menino  came  to  break- 
fast with  them  next,  they  should  tell  him  he  ought  to  invite 
them  home  to  dinner  in  return,  and  their  master  with  them. 
The  Menino  thought  this  reasonable,  and  fixed  a  day,  but  did 
not  mention  Bernardo.  Bernardo,  however,  was  not  to  be  put 
off.  He  bade  them  tell  the  Menino  (this  is  a  term  of  endear- 
ment applied  to  a  child)  that,  as  they  wore  the  habit,  they  were 
bound  to  observe  the  Rules  of  the  Order.  Obedience  was  one  of 
those  Rules,  and  their  master  would  not  let  them  go  without  him. 
The  day  came,  Bernardo  said  mass,  communicated  with  the  chil- 
dren, then  knelt  between  them  before  the  altar,  and  there,  with 
their  hands  raised  in  the  attitude  of  prayer,  and  their  eyes  fixed 
towards  the  image,  the  three  lifeless  bodies  were  found.  This 
is  told  as  a  true  story  in  the  history  of  the  Dominican  Order  in 
Portugal  by  F.  Luiz  de  Sousa,  a  most  highly  esteemed  writer. 
And  if  you  were  here  to  read  it  with  me  in  Portuguese,  and  see 


how  beautifully  he  has  told  it,  I  think  you  would  fall  in  love 
with  the  story,  as  I  did  some  four  or  five  and  twenty  years  ago.* 

I  should  tell  you  that  this  Convent  at  Santarem  is  the 
holiest  of  all  holy  ground,  for  the  departed  friars  have  been 
seen  to  go  in  procession  round  the  cemetery,  bearing  tapers,  at 
midnight  (two  kings  have  seen  them),  and  when  a  grave  is 
opened  there  a  perfume  comes  out  more  delightful  than  art  can 
imitate,  or  nature  produce. 

Dear  Caroline,  take  these  for  the  present.  I  will  look  out 
others  in  a  different  tone.  If  you  like  them  I  am  quite  certain 
that  you  can  pitch  them  in  the  proper  key,  and  make  the  most 
of  them.  Perhaps  the  latter  is  too  puerile  in  some  of  its 
circumstances.  Yet  if  it  be  told  thoughtfully,  and  introduced 
as  a  legend  which  is  fully  believed  in  its  own  country,  the 
objection  may  be  removed.  However,  I  will  send  you  choice 
of  subjects,  and  enough  to  make  a  volume. 
Dear  Caroline,  farewell. 

God  bless  you. 




1,  HAELEY  STREET,  July  21th,  1825.  ' 

I  am  arrived  here  well  in  body,  but  not  so  sound  of  limb 
as  I  had  hoped.  My  foot,  though  nearly  well  to  all  outward 
appearance,  requires  rest,  and  is  something  the  worse  for  the 
journey  from  Holland,  and  for  two  nights  in  the  Ostend  steam- 
packet,  where  it  was  impossible  to  take  off  my  clothes  and 
attend  to  it.  Very,  very  unwillingly,  therefore,  my  journey 
into  Hampshire  must  be  given  up,  and  I  must  travel  homeward 
by  day  stages.  Night-travelling  will  not  do  for  me  till  the 

*  The  story  is  told  in  graceful  verse  by  Caroline  Bowles :  "  A  Legend  of 
Santarem,"  in  The  Birthday. 

G  2 


limb  has  recovered  its  wonted  strength.  This  is  a  great  disap- 
pointment, for,  with  all  my  eagerness  to  be  once  more  at  home, 
the  prospect  of  seeing  you  was  one  of  those  things  to  which  I 
looked  on  during  my  confinement  with  most  pleasure.  Next 
May  I  will  leave  Keswick  before  the  cold  comes  on,  and  try 
whether  a  journey  to  London,  with  Hampshire  for  the  farthest 
point  of  my  travels,  may  not  suffice  to  prevent  it.  This  year's 
experiment  has  perfectly  succeeded  in  that  respect,  and  my 
general  health  is  for  a  time  completely  re-established,  which  is 
not  a  little  surprising,  considering  the  length  of  time  that  I 
was  confined  to  a  sofa. 

Something  I  told  you  of  the  Bilderdijks  in  my  letter  from 
Leyden.  There  are  a  great  number  of  what  may  be  called 
domestic  poems  among  their  works.  Some  of  these  I  mean  to 
translate  for  insertion  in  the  Quarterly  Review ;  and  if  I  could 
get  enough  of  them  translated  to  form  a  small  volume,  it 
would  gratify  me  quite  as  much  as  it  would  them.  Perhaps 
you  will  help  me  in  this  design.  I  will  translate  the  poems 
into  prose  as  well  as  I  can,  and  when  I  meet  with  difficult 
passages  write  over  to  Mrs.  B.  that  she  may  send  me  the 
interpretation.  They  are  poems  (Mrs.  B.'s)  which  always 
remind'me  of  you,  in  the  feelings  which  they  express.  I  mean 
to  say  that,  under  like  circumstances,  they  are  such  poems  as 
you  would  have  written.  Your  lot  has  not  been  a  happy  one, 
and  yet  you  have  not  such  sorrows  to  endure  as  have  been  her 

Bilderdijk  has  been  twice  married.  By  his  first  wife  he 
had  eight  children,  all  of  whom  are  dead.  By  his  present,  who 
is  twenty-four  years  younger  than  himself,  he  has  had  seven, 
and  one  boy  of  thirteen  is  the  only  survivor — his  life  a  very 
precarious  one,  his  constitution  being  weak,  and  the  place  of  his 
abode,  and  the  want  of  exercise  and  playmates,  unfavourable  to 
it.  The  great  disproportion  of  age  can  hardly  be  said  to  have 
alloyed  their  happiness,  for  never  were  two  persons  more 
attached  to,  or  more  worthy  of  each  other.  But  the  evil  is  felt 
now,  when,  at  the  age  of  forty-six,  she  sees  her  husband  a  man 
of  three  score  and  ten,  and  has  the  prospect  of  widowhood  close 


before  her.  He  found  her  in  England  when  he  came  over  to 
join  the  Stadtholder  in  his  exile.  She  had  lived  here  from 
three  or  four  years  old,  had  forgotten  her  own  language,  and 
was  writing  English  verses,  which  I  could  not  prevail  upon  her 
to  show  me.  Upon  becoming  attached  to  him  she  resumed  her 
own  language,  and  the  Dutch  have  thereby  gained  a  poetess, 
who  would  else  have  taken  her  place  with  another  friend  of 
mine  in  English  literature.  Whether  she  was  handsome  in  her 
youth  I  do  not  know;  but  infinitely  pleasing  she  must  have 
been,  for  even  now  her  countenance  sometimes  assumes  an  ex- 
pression which  may  be  called  beautiful.  But  you  know  it  is 
always  to  countenance  and  expression  that  I  look ;  mere  features 
without  the  right  expression  are  no  more  to  me  than  waxwork. 

Let  me  hear  from  you,  dear  Caroline,  while  I  am  in  town. 
I  shall  Jeave  it  on  Tuesday  next.  Before  that  time  you  will 
receive  my  poem.  How  much  rather  would  I  have  been  with 
you  in  person  !  And  yet  I  believe  there  never  was  an  author 
whose  character,  in  all  its  bearings,  was  more  clearly  portrayed 
in  his  writings,  and  that  you  will  feel  this  in  the  Tale  of 
Paraguay.  Will  you  not  like  Bilderdijk  the  better  for  having 
translated  the  King  of  the  Crocodiles  ? 

God  bless  you,  my  dear,  dear  friend. 



KESWICZ,  August  3Qth,  1825. 

I  cannot  tell  you  what  Mrs.  Bilderdijk's  maiden  name  was  ; 
it  was  never  mentioned,  and  is  not  given  in  her  title-pages, 
though  it  is  usual  to  say  born  so  and  so  after  the  name  of  a 
married  woman.  I  therefore  feared  there  might  be  some 
reason  for  this,  and  did  not  venture  to  ask  what  I  wished  to 
know.  The  portrait  of  Madame  de  Sevigne,  in  the  edition  of 


her  letters  published  in  1820,  is  a  most  excellent  likeness  of 
Mrs.  B.  I  cannot  imagine  anything  more  like  what  she  must 
have  been  at  five-and-twenty,  both  in  features  and  expression. 
Her  husband  told  me  that  she  thought  me  very  like  what  he 
had  been  twenty  years  ago;  but  as  he  had  not  been  to  the 
Promontory  for  a  nose,  there  never  can  have  been  much  resem- 
blance. What  there  was  must  have  been  about  the  eyes  and 
upper  part  of  the  face.  I  believe,  however,  few  men  could  be 
found  who  resemble  each  other  so  much  in  disposition,  pursuits, 
and  opinions. 

My  books  are  not  yet  come,  and  I  have  not  begun  upon 
those  volumes  of  his  which  I  brought  to  England  with  me,  and 
which  reached  Keswick  on  Thursday  last.  As  soon  as  I  can 
translate  anything  in  verse  you  shall  see  it ;  and  some  you 
shall  see  in  prose,  sent  in  the  hope  that  you  may  feel  inclined 
to  versify  it.  I  have  urged  them  to  visit  me  next  year,  and  am 
not  without  a  hope  that  they  may  come.  But  they  are  far 
from  rich.  All  his  property  he  lost  in  the  Revolution,  for  his 
attachment  to  the  house  of  Orange.  They  have  recompensed 
him  with  a  paltry  pension  of  1800  florins,  about  £140.  Some- 
thing he  gets  by  taking  pupils  during  the  terms  of  the  Univer- 
sity ;  by  his  writings  very  little,  the  profits  of  authorship  being 
miserably  little  in  so  small  a  country,  and  in  a  language  which 
has  no  circulation  beyond  it.  But  little  as  they  are,  they 
are  of  consequence  to  him.  He,  however,  is  contented  and 
happy,  and  has  the  spirit  of  a  prince,  or  rather  which  princes 
ought  to  have. 

My  foot  prevented  me  from  going  to  meet  Canning  at 
Storrs.  To  say  the  truth,  I  was  not  sorry  that  there  was  this 
reason  for  declining  an  invitation  which  it  would  have  been 
some  trouble  and  some  expense  to  accept,  and  which  I  should 
have  had  little  pleasure  in  accepting.  Unexpectedly  Sir  Walter 
Scott  made  his  appearance  there,  and  came  from  thence  to  see 
me.  We  had  not  met  for  about  twelve  years,  and  I  found  him 
greatly  changed — grown  large,  perfectly  grey,  and  with  the 
look  of  three-score,  which  is  about  five  years  older  than  he  is. 
Lockhart  was  with  him  and  his  unmarried  daughter. 


I  have  seen  also  my  ally  the  Bishop  of  Chester  since  my 
return.  He  wishes  my  book  to  appear  in  time  for  the  next 
session.  I  am  getting  on  with  it,  and  wish  you  were  at  hand 
to  see  it  as  it  proceeds.  It  would  amuse  you  to  see  how  I  have 
treated  Milner,  and  how  well  scorn  can  supply  the  place  of 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 



KESWICK,   October  14th,  1825. 

You  will  see  a  Paper  upon  Sara  Coleridge's  Bayard  in  the 
next  Quarterly  Review,  and  know  from  whence  it  comes.  The 
reviewal  of  Paraguay  is  by  John  Coleridge.  He  tells  me  a 
good  story  concerning  Murray,  who  had  heard  the  poem  much 
ridiculed,  and  supposed  it  to  be  good  for  nothing.  One  day 
when  Coleridge  called  on  him  he  said :  "  I  took  up  your  review 
of  the  Paraguay  yesterday  evening,  thinking  to  request  that  if 
you  did  not  much  care  about  it  you  would  pass  it  by.  God, 
Sir !  I  read  on  till  I  was  quite  affected.  You  have  extracted 
some  of  the  most  beautiful  things  in  tlie  world.  I  was  quite 
affected."  And  he  proceeded  to  say  "  that  Coleridge  had 
begun  too  much  in  the  way  of  apology."  So  it  is,  that  as  the 
wind  blows  the  chaff  flies.  The  tale  is  a  good  test  for  showing"" 
who  those  are  who  read  a  poem  as  they  do  a  novel,  not  for  the 
feeling  or  execution.  It  is  almost  like  Wordsworth's  Lucy —  ^ 
something  which  there  are  "  none  to  praise,"  and  "  very  few  to 
love";  but  then  those  few  are  worth  all  the  rest  of  the  world. 

My  books  arrived  a  fortnight  ago.  A  son  of  my  old  friend 
Lightfoot,  who  happened  to  be  here,  and  assisted  in  unpacking 
them,  told  his  father  he  had  never  seen  any  man  look  so 
happy  as  I  did  upon  that  occasion.  And  I  was  as  happy  as  the 


arrival  of  eighty-nine  folios,  and  about  as  many  smaller  fry, 
could  make  me.  The  honeymoon  is  not  over  yet.  0,  dear 
Caroline,  what  a  blessing  it  is  to  have  an  insatiable  appetite  of 
this  kind,  which  grows  by  what  it  feeds  on,  and  for  which  food 
can  never  be  wanting !  With  such  pursuits  nothing  is  wanting 
to  my  enjoyment ;  and  the  only  thing  I  wish  for  is — now  and 
then — the  presence  of  some  one  who  could  fairly  enter  into  nay 
views  and  feelings,  and  partake  the  interest  which  I  take  in 
such  researches.  But  of  all  my  friends,  the  only  one  who  does 
this  is  my  uncle,  and  he  is  in  the  last  stage  of  bodily  infirmity 
from  old  age,  but  with  his  faculties  perfect,  and  his  love  of 
these  things  unabated. 

I  am  now  writing  doggedly  for  the  Quarterly  Review,  that 
is  to  say,  for  the  lucre  of  gain  and  the  necessity  of  paying  my 
half -yearly  bills  at  Christmas.  The  subject  is  the  Yaudois, 
which  is  interesting  in  itself,  and  not  unconnected  with  my 
ecclesiastical  pursuits.  When  this  is  done,  which  it  will  be  by 
the  end  of  the  month,  I  must  set  tooth  and  nail  upon  the  Penin- 
sular War,  and  fairly  finish  the  volume.  It  is  just  half 
printed — a  proof  is  on  the  table  now.  The  Vindicice  go  on 
well ;  the  better  for  this  importation  from  the  Low  Coun- 
tries. I  have  just  got  through  a  sort  of  chapter  upon  the 
celibacy  of  the  clergy,  and  the  sort  of  morality  (if  I  may  use 
that  word)  which  it  has  produced.  When  you  read  it  you 
will  be  surprised  to  see  what  formidable  creatures  women 

Cuthbert,  among  other  accomplishments,  is  learning  Dutch 
in  my  way  of  teaching  all  languages  which  I  know  anything 
of,  except  Latin  and  Greek,  wholly  disregarding  the  grammar, 
or  rather  picking  it  out  by  use.  We  read  Mrs.  Bilderdijk's 
poems  for  children  and  the  dialogues  in  the  Grammar,  which 
are  always  worth  reading  in  old  Grammars.  And  thus  ten 
minutes'  amusement  in  the  day  (for  amusement,  and  not  task- 
work, it  is)  will  familiarize  him  to  the  idiom  of  the  language ; 
and  when  we  have  done  with  Mrs.  B.  we  shall  enter  upon 
Jacob  Cats,  the  poet  of  all  poets  who  has  done  most  good-" 
to  his  country,  and  whose  volume,  in  the  good  days  of 


Holland,  lay  upon  the  hall  table  with  the  Family  Bible  in 
every  respectable  house. 

God  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  November  2(MA,  1825. 

Two  days  ago  I  had  a  very  pleasant  surprise  in  unrolling 
the  lithograph  of  our  party  on  Honister  Crag.  It  is  a  very 
pleasant  memorial,  and  likely  to  be  valued  one  of  these  days 
for  your  sake  and  for  mine,  when  we  shall  be  far  off  in  our 
celestial  journey,  travelling,  I  hope,  together.  Will  it  not  be 
delightful  to  visit  the  man  in  the  moon,  go  from  thence  to  the 
evening  star  with  a  wish,  and  make  a  trip  to  the  sun  as 
familiarly  as  we  now  might  to  the  sea,  and  put  ourselves  upon 
a  comet,  instead  of  getting  into  a  stage-coach  ! 

Miss  Fryer's  likeness  is  very  well  preserved,  and  Dame 
Elizabeth  also  may  be  recognized  by  those  who  know  her. 
John  Calvert's  back,  too,  is  a  good  likeness,  but  the  litho- 
grapher has  uglified  all  the  rest,  and  Kate  and  Bell  dispute  for 
which  of  them  the  ugliest  of  the  two  imps  is  intended.  But  it 
is  happily  caught  and  managed,  and  like  everything  that  I  see 
of  yours,  makes  me  wish  more  and  more  that  we  were  near 
enough  to  set  each  other  to  work,  and  to  work  in  unison. 

So  you  wanted  the  monkey,  the  parrots,  and  the  pigs  in 
Paraguay.  I  had  two  reasons  for  not  introducing  them.  The 
first  was,  that  I  was  sick  to  the  very  heart  of  my  task,  and  deter- 
mined to  put  in  nothing  that  should  lengthen  it.  The  other,  that 
though  these  things  might  have  been  very  pleasingly  described 
in  the  second  canto,  they  would  have  broken  the  simple,  single 
interest  of  the  poem  in  its  better  parts.  What  could  have  been 
done  with  them  when  Mooma  was  singing,  with  her  arms  and 


countenance  raised  as  if  she  would  fain  have  followed  the  voice 
which  she  had  sent  into  the  sky?  I  must  tell  you  honestly 
that  the  real  ground  of  that  description  is  the  pleasure  I  have 
myself  in  pouring  forth  "  the  voice  which  echo  loves,"  and 
making  a  great  noise  indoors,  out  of  doors,  whenever  I  am  at 
liberty.  My  woodnotes  wild  are  as  much  beyond  all  other 
warblings  as  they  are  unlike  them,  and  so  you  would  acknow- 
ledge if  you  were  once  to  hear  a  full  display.  Joseph  Glover, 
the  carpenter,  who  does  our  jobs  and  makes  my  book-shelves, 
says  of  himself :  "  I  should  be  a  capital  singer,  but  the  pity  is, 
I  have  no  voice ! "  Now,  I  have  a  voice,  but  the  pity  is  that  I 
do  not  know  one  note  from  another,  and  know  no  difference 
between  in-tune  and  out-of-tune.  But  it  is  such  a  voice,  that 
whereas  other  people  stop  at  Gr  H,  I  go  on  to  X  Y  Z,  &c. 

Dear  Caroline,  you  will  perceive  that  this  is  not  written  in 
the  worst  spirits,  and  yet  my  spirits  are  not  raised  when  I  think 
of  your  loneliness,  and  the  frequent  accesses  of  illness,  which 
seem  to  be  the  only  things  that  vary  it.  Not  a  day  passes  that 
that  thought  does  not  come  across  me.  Never  was  a  creature  more 
formed  to  be  happy  herself,  and  to  make  others  happy,  if  For- 
tune had  not  in  your  case  played  strangely  at  cross  purposes 
with  Nature.  At  present  it  is  only  when  I  shut  my  eyes  that 
I  can  see  you  ;  in  this  the  absent  are  like  the  dead ;  but  I  shall 
see  you,  Gk»d  willing,  in  good  substantial  earnest,  when  May 
comes,  and  I  take  flight  from  my  summer  visitant. 

Do  not  be  surprised  at  hearing  that  the  lines  upon  Paul 
Burrard  are  published.  I  gave  them  to  Alaric  Watts  for  his 
Souvenir,  having  nothing  else  that  I  could  so  well  give,  and 
mended  them  a  little  before  they  went.  My  Vindicice  will  very 
soon  be  brought  to  a  close,  though  I  have  got  but  half  through 
Mr.  Butler's  book.  I  shall  wind  up  at  the  end  of  the  volume 
by  bidding  him  good  bye  for  the  present,  and  resume  the  mat- 
ter, or  not,  according  to  circumstances.  You  will  often  smile 
in  the  perusal,  which  the  Roman  Catholics  will  not,  for  it  is 
long  since  the  old  woman  of  Babylon  has  had  such  a  carting 
as  I  am  giving  her.  My  second  volume  of  the  War  will  j  list 
be  completed  in  time  for  my  start  in  May.  Moreover,  my 


Dialogues  are  in  the  press.     Judge  how  happy  I  am  with  proof- 

God  bless  you. 




BTTCKLAKD,  December  8th,  1825. 

For  once  (in  return  for  your  cheering,  kind  letter)  I  will 
treat  you  with  a  few  notes  less  like  a  raven's  than  usual.  I 
have  been  better  lately,  brightening  up  a  little  in  health  and 
hope,  now  and  then  feeling  that  there  is  enjoyment  in  life,  and 
(since  I  last  heard  from  you)  now  and  then  glancing  forward, 
half  fearfully,  but  still  in  hope,  to  another  May  which  two 
months  ago  it  made  me  sick  at  heart  to  think  of. 

Your  confession  about  that  beautiful  passage  in  Paraguay  is 
delightful ;  but  you  forget  I  have  heard  your  "  woodnotes  wild  " 
in  perfection,  I  think,  "  The  Bloody  Gardiner,"  in  the  gloam- 
ing among  the  echoes  of  Borrodale,  and  at  Waterend  that 
pathetic  ditty  about  "  Tittymouse  Bay."  You  never  honoured 
me  with  a  solo  voluntary  at  Greta  Hall. 

Thank  you  for  telling  me  you  had  given  that  beautiful  in- 
scription to  the  Literary  Souvenir.  I  sent  for  the  book  directly 
for  dear  Paul's  mother,  who  would  have  been  painfully 
startled  had  she  fallen  upon  it  unawares.  Coming  from  me  it 
was  a  dear  and  precious  gift.  The  additional  concluding  lines 
are  beautiful,  and  perfect  the  poem ;  but  I  am  disposed  to  quar- 
rel with  your  alteration  of  one  line — the  last  in  the  MS.  copy 
you  sent  me.* 

*  "  The  original  MS.  referred  to  is  now  before  me,  and  ended  thus : 

'  But  who  would  join  with  fervent  piety 
The  prayer  that  saith,  Peace  in  our  time,  O  Lord.' 

The  inscription  as  printed  is  on  p.  174  of  the  one-volume  edition  of  the 
Poems."     (Note  ly  Mr.  Warier.} 


Do  tell  me,  if  you  can,  who  wrote  that  first  article  in  the 
last  Quarterly  Review,  and  is  Lockhart  to  be  editor  of  the 
Review,  as  currently  reported.  I  hope  not ;  let  the  "  modern 
Athens"  keep  her  Athenians. 

Yes,  I  hope  we  shall  travel  together  that  journey  after 
Time ;  but  at  present  my  spirit  is  far  less  aspiring  than  yours. 
It  puts  me  quite  out  of  breath  to  think  of  whisking  about  from 
star  to  star  upon  comets'  tails.  I  have  no  great  fancy  for  a  trip 
to  the  moon  (though  I  might  find  my  wits  there),  and  still  less 
for  a  solar  visit,  though  there  is  something  sweet  and  alluring 
in  the  beam  of  the  evening  star.  But,  to  confess  the  honest 
truth,  my  beatific  visions  are  still  fashioned  very  much  after 
the  manner  of  those  of  my  childhood,  when  (about  four  or  five 
years  old)  I  acquired  sublime  conceptions  of  the  joys  of  the 
blessed  in  heaven  from  the  sight  of  a  peep-show  representing 
the  Garden  of  Eden,  all  full  of  fruits  and  flowers,  bright  turf 
and  crystal  rills,  beautiful  birds  and  gentle  creatures  frisking 
around  Adam  and  Eve  in  their  bower  of  myrtle  and  roses. 
You  may  laugh  as  you  please,  but  some  such  future  paradise 
my  fancy  always  represents  to  me,  far  better  peopled  indeed 
with  those  whose  presence  would  make  a  desert  Paradise. 

I  have  a  new  favour  to  ask  of  you — you  will  think  I  am 
becoming  an  importunate  beggar.  Will  you  give  me  your 
Devil's  Walk,  that  stolen  feather  in  Professor  Person's  wing? 
Perhaps,  if  you  have  no  objection  to  let  me  have  it,  one  of  the 
five  young  ladies  would  copy  it  for  me,  or  set  it  Cuthbert  for 
a  writing  lesson.  I  am  charmed  to  hear  the  Dialogues  are 
forthcoming.  Will  you  ever  get  to  Sherwood  again?  You 
must  make  your  way  through  that  wood. 

Farewell,  dear  friend  :  Grod  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  January  4th,  1826. 

As  many  new  years  to  you,  dear  friend,  as  you  can  find 
comfort  and  enjoyment  in  life,  and  not  an  hour  longer.  But 
may  those  years  be  many. 

You  shall  have  The  Devil's  Walk  whenever  I  can  lay  my 
hand  upon  the  first  rough  draft,  for  I  have  no  copy  of  it.  It  is 
probably  in  a  great  desk  which  is  threatened  every  day  with  a 
new  green  cloth :  in  that  case  its  contents  must  be  turned  out, 
and,  amid  the  fearful  accumulation  of  papers  which  will  then 
be  disturbed,  I  hope  it  will  come  to  light.  I  will  mark  in  it 
what  stanzas  are  mine,  and  what  Coleridge's. 

The  article  upon  Pope  (which  has  been  sorely  injured  by 
curtailment)  was  written  by  the  father  of  my  fellow-traveller, 
Henry  Taylor,  a  most  remarkable  person  for  strength  of  cha- 
racter, as  well  as  for  intellectual  powers — the  sort  of  man  with 
whom  Cato  might  shake  hands,  for  he  has  the  better  parts  of  an 
antique  Eoman  about  him.  I  am  sorry  for  Bowles,  and  the  more 
so  because  the  criticism  has  been  written  in  perfect  sincerity, 
and  with  the  fullest  conviction  that  its  severity  was  deserved. 

The  new  number  has  a  paper  of  mine  upon  the  Yaudois. 
I  am  told  it  has  been  cut  shorter  to  make  room  for  papers 
which  J.  Coleridge  might  not  else  have  been  able  to  introduce  ; 
for  his  successor  I  understand  pays  no  regard  whatever  to  the 
arrangements  which  he  had  made.  This  I  am  sorry  for, 
especially  as  there  was  special  cause  for  delicacy.  I  am  in 
correspondence  with  the  new  editor,  but  whether  the  studied 
deference  which  is  now  assumed  toward  me,  and  the  over- 
strained commendations  which  usher  it  in,  will  open  out  any- 
thing like  a  frank  and  easy  intercourse  time  must  show.  Frank 
on  my  part  it  will  always  be,  for  frank  I  am  by  nature,  and  it 
may  be  said  by  necessity  also.  Never  was  any  man  less  able 
to  dissemble  either  his  likings  or  dislikings.  Of  what  use  would 


it  be  to  carry  a  lying  tongue  with  a  countenance  which  always 
speaks  the  truth  ? 

Your  criticism  is  right,  and  I  will  restore  the  line  till  I  can 
remove  the  fault  without  changing  the  expression,  for  I  will  do 
all  I  can  to  improve  it  before  it  is  printed  with  my  intended 
series  of  Inscriptions.  The  inclination  for  verse  seems  to  be 
returning  to  me,  if  I  were  not  so  overdone  with  engagements 
that  I  cannot  afford  time  for  it.  Think  how  many  mouths  I 
have  to  feed  and  all  from  an  inkstand:  if  there  were  not  a 
blessing  upon  it,  as  upon  the  cruise  of  oil,  it  must  fail ;  but  that 
blessing  requires  me  to  do  my  part.  My  hopes  of  ever  getting 
the  start  of  the  world  grow  fainter  as  I  grow  older,  for  I  am 
past  the  age  at  which  it  is  truly  said  that  those  persons  who 
are  ever  to  enrich  themselves  are  rich.  But  I  go  on  cheerfully, 
in  the  full  enjoyment  of  all  that  Grod  has  given  me,  and  still 
finding  as  much  pleasure  in  what  is  a  business  of  necessity 
as  if  it  were  pursued  for  inclination  alone. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



BTJCKLAND,  January  8th,  1826. 

Am  I  "  quite  forgotten,  and  clean  out  of  mind "  ?  Not 
with  you  I  think,  of  all  the  world ;  but  it  is  very  long,  un- 
usually long,  since  you  have  given  me  any  token  of  remem- 
brance, and  though  my  faith  fails  not,  my  patience  does.  You 
can  hardly  take  such  accurate  note  of  time  as  I  do.  Sounds 
are  unnoticed  in  the  cheerful  bustle  of  the  day,  that  strike 
loudly  upon  one's  ear  in  the  deep  stillness  of  night.  So  it 
is  with  your  life  and  mine.  Circumstances  unmarked  and 
unimportant  in  your  crowded  diary  are  events  in  my  mono- 
tonous existence,  and  a  letter  from  you  makes  sunshine  in 
winter.  Can  you  be  very  angry  with  me  for  dunning  you  ? 


I  never  cared  much  about  the  opening  of  Parliament  till 
now  that  it  will  be  heralded  by  your  Vindicm.  Will  it  not  ? 
Your  article  on  the  Vaudois  is  as  interesting  as  I  expected  it 
to  be.  You  never  exercised  your  pen  in  a  worthier  cause,  or 
more  successfully. 

The  Monster  is  going  to  publish  my  bundle  of  scraps  this 
month.  Indifference  and  silence  have  fought  my  battle  for  me 
— brought  him  to  terms — that  is,  to  publish  only  what  I  stipu- 
late for,  instead  of  the  thumping  volume  he  wanted  to  make. 
There  will  be  more  than  enough,  but  I  can't  furnish  him  with 
a  title.  All  sorts  of  scraps  have  been  hashed  up  in  all  sorts  of 
ways,  with  all  sorts  of  names.  "  There  is  nothing  new  under 
sun,"  that  I  can  find  out. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend.     Don't  call  me  a  torment. 



KESWICK,  January  20^,  1826. 

Your  last  letter  did  make  me  angry,  but  it  was  with  myself 
for  not  having  written  sooner.  However,  I  was  pleased  that 
you  had  so  written,  and  that  by  the  time  yours  reached  me 
mine  had  found  its  way  to  Buckland.  I  was  also  glad  to  hear 
that  you  and  the  Monster  were  again  on  amiable  terms.  If  I 
knew  what  sort  of  medley  your  book  was,  I  could  try  to  help 
you  to  a  name,  though  my  talent  lies  rather  in  naming  cats 
than  books.  It  is  always  desirable  to  have  a  peculiar  title : 
the  meaning  is  of  less  consequence,  because  any  title  very  soon 
ceases  to  convey  any  meaning  more  than  the  name  of  that  to 
which  it  is  given.  For  example,  when  we  talk  of  As  You  Like 
It,  what  do  we  think  of  but  Rosalind  and  Jaques  and  the  Forest 


of  Arden  ?  Upon  this  principle  the  Book  of  the  Church  was 
named;  it  puzzled  some  people,  provoked  others,  set  them 
criticising,  which  I  did  not  care  for,  and  talking  about  it, 
which  I  wished  them  to  do ;  and  now  it  is  merely  the  designa- 
tion of  what  could  not  well  have  been  called  anything  else,  and 
half  a  dozen  works  have  been  christened  after  it. 

The  Vindication  is  finished.  I  have  put  the  last  hand  to  it 
to-day,  except  that  there  are  still  about  four  proofs  to  correct. 
You  will  I  hope  receive  it  in  about  three  weeks,  and  probably 
you  will  look  through  it  with  more  satisfaction  than  Mr.  Butler 
will  feel  in  the  perusal.  He  will  say  it  is  a  dreadful  book ;  for 
though  there  is  as  much  personal  civility  as  can  be  desired 
(and  when  I  call  to  mind  some  parts  of  his  attack  I  cannot  but 
think  more  than  is  deserved),  yet  I  have  neither  mealed  my 
mouth  nor  minced  my  words. 

The  printer  of  my  Peninsular  War  has  contrived  to  lose  a 
leaf  of  manuscript,  and  sends  me  a  proof-sheet  with  a  gap  in  it,, 
and  a  query  in  the  margin,  as  if  I  had  neglected  to  send  it. 
The  hour's  trouble  which  it  would  cost  me  to  replace  what  i& 
missing  I  will  not  take,  till  I  have  made  him  look  after  what 
could  not  have  been  missing  without  great  negligence.  It  m 
by  special  good  fortune  that  I  can  replace  it  without  much 
difficulty,  as  it  happens  to  be  a  part  which  required  rather 
more  than  ordinary  pains,  and  rather  a  rough  draft  of  it  was 
made,  which  by  good  luck  has  not  been  destroyed,  and  by 
further  good  luck  is  legible,  which  my  rough  drafts  of  later 
years  have  ceased  to  be,  even  to  myself,  when  they  have  been 
written  two  or  three  days.  This  is  a  bad  habit ;  and  one  which 
ought  to  be  corrected,  for  it  might  prove  very  inconvenient, 
and  there  is  no  excuse  for  it. 

Will  you  think  me  very  much  at  leisure,  or  very  idly 
laborious,  when  you  hear  that  I  have  just  finished  the 
volumes  of  Madame  Sevigne's  letters  ?  The  book  never  fell 
in  my  way  till  I  met  with  the  last  new  edition  at  Bruges  last 
year,  and  by  reading  in  it  for  some  half  hour  every  day  after 
dinner,  by  firelight,  on  the  sofa  before  I  take  my  siesta,  I  have 
gone  through  it,  learning  a  few  things  which  it  is  pleasant  and 


may  be  useful  to  know,  and  having  been  much  amused,  and 
sometimes  interested.  It  is  some  pleasure  to  see  that  in  spite 
of  all  the  profligacy  of  Louis  XIV.'s  court,  aided  by  the 
Romish  religion,  and  that  irreligion  which  is  its  shadow,  or 
its  truly  begotten  imp,  and  constant  attendant,  there  were  yet 
in  the  very  sphere  and  vortex  of  corruption  so  many  persons 
who  had  original  goodness  enough  to  withstand  these  evil  influ- 
ences, and  retain  the  natural  integrity  and  affections  with  which 
God  had  blest  them.  One  thinks  the  worse  of  the  times  and  of 
the  national  manners,  but  perhaps  the  better  of  human  nature ; 
and  certainly  much  the  worse  of  the  Romish  religion,  that  is,  a 
reader  who  did  not  know  much  about  that  religion  would  think 
the  worse  of  it,  when  he  finds  such  a  woman  as  Madame  Sevigne 
exulting  in  the  revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes,  and  sees 
the  cat  put  her  head  out  of  the  bag  every  now  and  then, 
when  the  nunneries  are  talked  of.  I  cannot  feel  any  liking 
for  Madame  Grignan,  who,  whatever  she  may  have  been  as  a 
daughter,  seems  to  have  been  a  bad  step-mother,  and  not 
remarkable  for  maternal  affection.  "We  might  account  for 
national  differences  if  all  men  were  made  of  clay,  like  Adam, 
for  then  the  different  sorts  of  clay  might  explain  the  matter. 
Flesh  and  blood  are  the  same  on  both  sides  of  the  British 
Channel,  but  what  a  marvellous  difference  in  the  current  of 
thoughts  and  feelings !  The  truth,  however,  is,  that  there  are 
but  two  sorts  of  people  everywhere — the  good  and  the  bad — 
and  a  great  many  varieties  between  them. 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 



BUCKLAND,  January  28th,  1826. 

It  is  very  pleasant,  truly,  to  meet  kind  looks  where  one  had 
expected  (and  deserved)  something  like  a  frown ;  but  then,  per- 



haps,  such  lenient  treatment  encourages  over-boldness,  and  here 
I  am  again,  seizing  upon  a  hint,  and  asking  you  for  the  title 
you  say  you  might  furnish  me  with,  if  you  knew  the  contents 
of  my  volume.  Why,  it  consists  of  such  little  poems  as  those 
I  wrote  in  the  two  young  ladies'  scrap-books,  in  all  moods  and 
metres,  and  a  few  interspersed  prose  trifles,  essays,  stories  (piti- 
ful concerns,  I  think,  but  the  Monster  will  have  them  in). 
Most  of  these  miscellanies  have  such  affected  titles  as  make  one 
sick,  and  I  find  it  very  difficult  to  separate  the  peculiar  from  the 
affected.  I  can  compose  ridiculous  titles  easily  enough,  but  it 
would  not  quite  answer  the  Monster's  purpose  or  mine  to  stick 
a  fool's  cap  upon  one's  own  candidate. 

I  do  not  like  Madame  de  Grrignan  better  than  you  do,  and 
what  is  more,  I  do  not  admire  Madame  de  Sevigne's  maternal 
tenderness  half  so  much  as  it  has  always  been  the  law  to  ad- 
admire  it.  Elle  Vaffiche  trop.  But  her  letters,  her  style,  her 
amiable  enjouement,  finesse,  and  purity  (for  a  Frenchwoman)  are 
delightful.  Madame  de  Sevigne  was,  I  think,  one  of  the  most 
perfect  fine  ladies — I  mean  as  to  fine  taste,  fine  breeding,  tact, 
&c. — who  ever  adorned  any  court  and  country,  and  it  is  en- 
chanting to  find  this  high  polish  had  neither  destroyed  nor  de- 
teriorated more  valuable  qualities.  I  have  a  French  friend 
and  correspondent,  who  would  bear  much  comparison  with,  her 
accomplished  countrywoman — The  Duchess  de  Damas  Cruz. 
Pray,  did  Madame  de  Sevigne's  letters  please  you  better  by 
fire-light  than  by  any  other  light,  that  you  have  been  taking 
such  liberties  with  those  precious  organs  given  you  for  such 
useful  and  noble  purposes,  and  to  be  treasured  accordingly? 
You  may  as  well  blind  one  at  once  as  use  them  by  fire-light. 
See  how  sharp  and  dictatorial  I  can  be. 

Lockhart,  I  hear,  is  to  have  £1500  a-year  for  his  editor- 
ship— is  it  so  ? — and,  moreover,  the  lucrative  sinecure  office 
W.  S.  Rose  has  lately  vacated.  I  sometimes  wish  you  had 
succeeded  Grifford. 

Do  you  remember  anything  of  a  certain  Monsieur  Pichot, 
who — selon  la  mode  actuelle — has  been  making  a  pilgrimage 
through  the  land  of  lakes  and  poets,  and  tells  everything  he 


could  pick  up  while  admitted  to  their  domestic  circles — a  most 
laudahle  and  honourable  custom !  I  have  a  great  mind  to 
publish  my  visit  to  Keswick,  not  omitting  the  interlude  of 
"  Semid." 

Fare  you  well,  dear  friend.  If  pain  has  chained  my  tongue 
(a  loss  to  no  one),  it  has  not  fettered  my  fingers,  you  see,  or 
overcome  my  gossiping  humour.  But  I  will  let  you  off  with 
one  "  Grod  bless  you." 


I  have  been  "  idly  laborious  "  of  late,  reading  through  lots 
of  old  French  Memoires,  not  the  very  old,  but  that  series  so 
historically  interesting,  extending  from  the  reigns  of  Louis 
Treize  to  Louis  Seize ;  of  these,  the  eight  volumes  of  Mademoi- 
selle's (la  grande  Mademoiselle's)  autobiography  are  to  me  infi- 
nitely curious  and  interesting,  and  Madame  de  Motteville's  five 
form  an  admirable  pendent  for  them. 

Eichelieu  and  De  Eetz,  and  others  of  those  times,  furnish 
out  altogether  a  very  complete  history,  not  to  forget  Bentivoglio, 
though  I  bring  him  in  a  la  fin  instead  of  au  commencement. 
How  rich  the  French  are  in  Memoires! 


KESWICK,  February  1th,  1826. 

Can  I  name  your  book  ?  Will  "  Solitary  Hours  "  do  ?  or 
"  A  Woman's  Portfolio  "  ?  or  "  Autumnal  Flowers  "  ?  I  have 
been  luckier  in  giving  Murray's  newspaper  a  name,  or  rather  in 
shortening  its  appellation,  and  called  it  "  The  Rip."  Huskisson 
sent  him  word  the  other  day  that,  if  there  appeared  in  it  such 
another  article  as  that  upon  the  trade  question,  the  paper  should 
have  no  assistance  from  him.  Murray  tells  this  to  one  of  my 

H  2 


friends,  and  says:  "  Fifteen  years,  Sir,  I  (he,  John  Murray)  have 
supported  the  government,  and  there's  a  pretty  message  for  a 
man  to  receive  in  this  Land  of  Liberty!"  It  is  long  since  I 
have  heard  anything  so  good  as  this — the  said  John  declaring 
at  the  same  time  that,  if  he  had  taken  the  wrong  side,  it  was 
the  ministers'  own  fault,  because  they  had  not  told  him  which 
was  the  right.  Dear  Caroline,  never  let  me  be  told  that  there 
is  nothing  perfect  in  this  world.  Murray  is  perfect  in  his  kind ; 
and  your  Monster  is  a  perfect  monster;  and  a  bookseller  in 
general  is  perfect — perfect  as  a  hybrid  animal  can  be,  which  is 
between  goose  and  cormorant. 

This  morning  I  took  up  Oliver  Newman  once  more,  and  with 
a  hope  that  when  I  get  into  the  next  book  the  interest  of  the 
tale  will  then  lead  me  on.  My  Tale  of  Paraguay  has  not  sold 
It  was  not  likely  to  find  many  admirers,  and  even  some  of  those 
who  admired  parts  have  failed  to  perceive  how  completely  the 
execution  accords  with  the  design — that  the  author  has  done 
nothing  which  he  did  not  intend  to  do,  and  left  nothing  undone 
which  he  intended. 

If  I  were  at  leisure,  I  verily  believe  I  should  produce  a 
Spenserian  poem  about  as  long  as  "The  Castle  of  Indolence," 
upon  the  notion  of  Sir  Oleoso  the  Butler,  coming  forward  as 
the  champion  of  a  lady's  virtue,  who  is  clothed  in  purple  and 
scarlet.  Some  odd  thoughts  for  such  a  satire,  which  might 
at  once  grave  and  playful,  have  been  running  in  my  head  all 
this  day. 

I  have  read  none  of  those  Memoirs  which  are  amusing 
you,  but  almost  all  the  earlier  ones.  You  are  in  the  more 
amusing  series.  Where  is  there  more  variety,  and  more  de- 
velopment of  individual  character ;  less  to  admire,  but  also  less 
to  shudder  at ;  and  yet,  perhaps,  on  the  whole  more  to  put  one 
out  of  humour  with  the  affairs  of  the  world  and  with  human 
nature  ? 

My  paper  upon  the  Vaudois,  which  pleased  you  because  it 
was  mine,  has  been  much  hurt  by  mutilation.  I  hope  the 
account  of  Sceur  de  la  Nativite's  Eevelation  in  the  next  number 
will  not  be  cut  down  in  the  same  manner.  It  is  such  an  expo- 


sure  of  impious  imposture  that  it  can  hardly  fail  of  produc- 
ing some  effect  at  this  time. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  March  25th,  1826. 

What  sort  of  an  anatomist  your  physician  may  be  I  cannot 
pretend  to  say,  but  if  there  had  been  more  reason  for  his  opinion 
concerning  your  pain  in  the  head  than  I  think  there  can  have 
been,  it  was  not  the  part  of  a  wise  man  to  have  alarmed  his 
patient,  as  he  did  you.  You  must  know  that  for  six  months 
of  my  life,  and  in  the  nineteenth  year  of  my  age,  my  thoughts 
were  turned  toward  the  medical  profession  ;  during  which  time 
I  went  through  a  course  of  anatomy  at  Oxford  and  read  some 
medical  books.  I  learnt  just  enough  to  have  been  a  constant 
cause  of  disquietude  and  alarm  when  any  of  my  children  have 
been  indisposed,  and  to  apprehend  the  worst,  oftentimes  without 
cause,  but  sometimes  with  too  much.  And  the  only  use  my 
knowledge  was  of,  was  that  it  enabled  me  when  writing  Joan 
of  Arc  to  kill  men  in  battle  in  a  scientific  way,  as  the  critics  have 
lauded  Homer  for  doing  before  me.  I  prided  myself  upon 
this  (remember  it  was  when  I  was  just  one-and-twenty.)  One 
day  walking  in  the  streets  at  Bath,  and  telling  my  companion 
how  I  had  killed  the  last  man,  and  in  what  manner  I  meant  to 
slaughter  the  next,  I  said,  "  I'll  stab  him  in  the  back  "  :  a  man 
who  happened  to  be  passing  heard  the  words,  and  looked  at 
us  with  such  an  expression  of  astonishment  in  his  face,  that  we 
both  laughed  honestly  enough,  I  dare  say,  to  convince  him  that 
no  murder  was  intended. 

Mrs.  Opie  (now  Friend  Amelia)  talks  and  thinks  of  fix- 
ing herself  somewhere  in  this  neighbourhood.  Borrodale  she 


thought  of,  but  the  Grange  will  suit  her  better,  if  the  scheme 
takes  effect,  which  it  will  hardly  do  beyond  a  trial. 

Milner,  I  am  told,  is  dying,  which  I  should  have  been  sorry 
to  have  heard  while  my  book  was  in  hand.  You  give  me  credit 
for  more  management  in  that  said  book  than  was  used  in  it. 
The  truth  is,  that  I  had  only  looked  through  Mr.  Butler's 
volume  when  I  began  to  answer  it ;  and  being  urged  on  all 
sides  to  be  courteous  in  reply,  and,  moreover,  really  liking  him 
for  that  sort  of  happy  good  nature  which  constant  prosperity 
has  fostered,  I  wished  to  separate  him  from  his  cause,  and  kept 
all  my  hard  blows  for  Milner  and  Giant  Pope.  But  as  I  went 
on,  and  discovered  some  fresh  instances  of  unfairness  in  every 
page,  I  passed,  not  less  imperceptibly  than  naturally,  into  the 
strain  and  temper  which  took  from  you  all  fidgetty  feelings,, 
whatever  it  might  give  to  him.  I  have  heard  very  little  of  my 
book,  except  from  two  or  three  persons  who  have  read  it,  as  you 
have  done,  with  a  personal  interest.  The  composition,  as  you 
must  have  perceived,  was  matter  of  amusement.  The  perfect 
confidence  which  I  felt  made  me  in  such  good  humour  with  the 
subject,  that  I  could  never  be  heartily  angry  with  opponents,, 
who  were  so  completely  at  my  mercy. 

I  am  now  half  way  through  a  paper  upon  the  English 
Cathedrals  for  the  Quarterly  Review,  being  my  ways  and  means 
for  midsummer,  a  sort  of  miscellaneous  essay,  showing  by  the 
history  of  one  Cathedral  what  sort  of  books  concerning  them 
might  usefully  and  pleasantly  be  composed.  My  next  paper 
will  be  upon  the  Jews :  the  Society  for  converting  them  will 
supply  me  with  a  text,  unless  I  should  find  it  impossible  to 
treat  the  subject  without  bearing  hard  upon  that  not- very- wise 
Society;  for  in  the  chapter  of  accidents  it  has  come  to  pass 
that  they  have  laid  me  under  some  obligation,  by  affording  a 
channel  of  communication  with  the  Bilderdijks,  in  a  way  which 
I  will  explain  when  we  meet  in  May.  This  I  suspect  is  the 
greatest  good  that  they  effect  at  present  with  an  annual  expen- 
diture of  more  than  £20,000.  If  this  subject  be  laid  aside,  I 
shall  take  the  opportunity  which  is  afforded  by  a  new  edition  of 
Baxter's  works  to  write  his  life. 


Winter  is  returned  to  these  mountains  and  they  are  covered 
with  snow. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




April  18th,  1820. 

So  Mr.  Butler  seems  to  have  explained  away  one  of  your 
charges  of  unfairness,  and  you  seem  satisfied,  and  Murray  is 
the  scape-goat.  By  answering  only  half  Butler's  book  at 
present,  what  a  comfortable  plea  have  you  afforded  him  for 
waiting  to  take  breath,  and  collect  his  astounded  senses,  and 
sort  and  unravel  his  tangled  skeins  of  sophistry  to  strangle  you 
with,  when  the  time  comes.  And  en  attendant,  just  to  sharpen 
his  wits,  there  is  Sceur  Nativite  ! — an  admirable  Papist  pendant 
for  our  Joanna  Southcote.  Soeur  Nativite  beats  even  Blanco 
White's  heroines,  though  they  were  grand  specimens. 

I  anticipate  much  pleasure  from  your  paper  on  Cathedrals — 
a  canvas  which  affords  scope  for  the  happiest  creations  of  your 
brush,  in  outline  and  effect,  and  mellow  colouring.  But  what 
can  you  make  of  the  Jews  ? — "  The  Society  "  I  mean.  Nothing 
in  its  favour  I  am  sure,  if  you  tell  truth,  and  that  you  cannot 
help.  I  am  sick  of  the  very  sound  of  societies,  committees,  as- 
sociations, and  all  the  joint-stock  companies  on  religious  subjects, 
to  such  extravagances  do  they  proceed,  and  so  is  "  the  world 
gone  after  them,"  particularly  the  female  part  of  it,  always  well 
pleased  to  find  itself  of  consequence,  and  certainly  an  indefati- 
gable engine  when  set  to  work,  and  the  wheels  well  oiled  with 
flattery,  which  the  saints  of  your  sex  supply  very  profusely 
and  with  good  policy  in  the  organization  of  their  "female 
branch  societies."  One  lady  is  President  of  this,  another  "  Vice-" 
of  that  association — then,  what  with  Secretaries,  Treasurers, 


Collectors,  Tract-bearers,  Expounders!  Heaven  have  mercy 
on  us !  all  womankind  is  whirling  round  in  a  vortex  of  reli- 
gious dissipation — and  their  energies  once  set  a-going  pass  my 
comprehension,  their  unwearied  activity  of  body  and  mind,  or 
rather  of  animal  spirits.  Go  where  one  will  the  subject  is 
forced  upon  one.  One  lady's  drawing-room  is  full  of  little 
charity  boxes,  placed  here  and  there  amongst  the  ornamental 
litter;  another  keeps  a  stall  of  trumpery  knick-knacks — 
"ladies'  work" — to  lay  her  visitors  under  contribution;  another 
asks  you  to  work  for  her  (audacious  !),  and  then  a  whole  bevy 
of  damsels  sit  congregated  together,  pasting  and  painting, 
and  sewing  and  gilding,  and  what  not,  to  get  up  a  booth  for 
the  next  religious  fair.  All  this  pious  activity  is  going  on 
round  me,  and  no  wonder  if  it  bewilders  my  brain  and  offends 
my  taste,  and,  I  hope,  right  feeling ;  because  when  I  see  its 
ill  effects  on  society,  on  domestic  comfort,  in  the  neglect  of 
private  duties,  and  the  obtrusiveness  of  religious  pretensions 
("serious  views"  as  the  fashionable  cant  has  it),  I  feel  sure 
"  something  is  rotten  in  the  state  of  Denmark,"  something  un- 
sound in  the  foundation  of  these  crazy  castles.  Lately  people 
were  employed  to  walk  about  Southampton  with  banners,  beg- 
ging for  the  Jews,  and  directing  folks  to  the  ladies'  repository  in 
aid  of  the  funds  for  their  conversion  ;  and  lately  we  had  a  fair 
here  for  something  similar.  Pray  don't  encourage  this  mania, 
or  you  will  deserve  that  it  should  spread  to  Keswick.* 

I  have  just  been  reading  in  Cardinal  de  Retz  of  a  Spanish 

*  In  his  reply  Southey  writes — "  Nothing  can  be  livelier  than  your 
account  of  the  Lady  Presidents,  &c.,  of  the  religious  pick-pocket  associ- 
ations. In  the  Jewish  concern  the  whole  money  thus  received  is  merely 
wasted.  The  Bible  Society  must  do  some  good,  though  immeasurably  little 
in  proportion  to  its  pretensions.  The  various  Missionary  Societies  are  pro- 
ducing some  immediate  effect,  and  preparing  the  way  for  much  more.  With 
all  these  there  is  a  great  deal  of  fanaticism,  a  great  deal  of  quackery,  and 
not  a  little  cant ;  but  we  must  bear  with  the  evil  for  the  sake  of  the  good, 
where  they  are  so  mixed  as,  in  these  cases,  to  be  inseparable.  But  as  to  the 
effects  of  the  proselytising  spirit  upon  womankind  in  private  life,  you  are 
perfectly  right,  and  right  as  to  the  principle  which  the  tarantula  bite  puts 
in  action." 


miracle  which  outdoes  all  you  have  brought  to  light — of  a  one- 
legged  man  of  Saragossa,  who  being  employed  to  clean  and 
feed  the  lamps  of  one  of  the  churches,  rubbed  the  stump  of  the 
lost  leg  with  the  oil  thereof,  till  a  young  limb  sprouted  out  and 
grew  to  perfect  size  !  I  dare  say  you  have  met  with  this  glorious 
legend  somewhere. 

Where  is  "the  Grange"  near  you?  I  do  not  not  recollect 
such  a  place.  I  should  not  think  dear  quiet  Keswick  would 
suit  "  friend  Amelia  "  for  a  constant  residence.  She  has  been 
too  long  the  centre  of  a  little  circle  of  Cockney  blues  to  thrive 
in  the  shadow  of  your  mountains.  Sad  work  she  has  made  of 
her  last  publication,  Illustrations  of  Lying,  an  excellent  sub- 
ject, but  requiring  a  finer  touch  than  hers.  She  is  radically 
vulgar  in  all  her  notions.  And  I  am  abominably  spiteful,  I 
perceive,  and  in  a  very  gossiping  mood  this  evening ;  but  please 
to  observe  that  I  have  allowed  you  a  longer  respite  than  usual, 
from  my  most  punctual  correspondence,  for  which  you  are  in- 
debted to  a  wearing  pain  in  my  side,  which  has  made  it  dis- 
tressing to  me  to  write  for  some  days  past,  and  now  makes  my 
scrawl  more  scrawley  than  usual.  But  if  I  do  not  write,  you 
will  not,  and  that  deprivation  I  cannot  voluntarily  incur. 

The  hawthorns  in  my  garden  are  almost  in  bloom — the  May 
— your  welcome  herald,  and  my  prayer  book  is  sure  to  fall  open 
every  morning  first  where  that  loveliest  month  of  all  the  year 
is  noted  in  the  Calendar — you  will  acknowledge  it  to  be  so,  if 
only  for  the  sake  of  your  Edith  May. 

I  thought  my  little  book  (Solitary  Hours)  would  have  found 
its  way  to  you  before  now  ;  but  it  has  not,  nor,  in  the  shape  of 
advertisement,  into  any  paper,  which  seems  to  me  a  very  nega- 
tive method  of  "promoting  its  success,"  with  all  that  zeal  and 
energy  the  Monster  professes  in  its  cause ;  and  I  rather  wonder 
at  it,  as  everything  he  publishes  is  generally  advertised  for 
months  in  all  the  periodicals  and  newspapers.  It  matters  very 
little,  however,  in  my  case. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  If  I  had  "wings  like  a  dove  " — 
which  verily  I  sometimes  long  for,  that  I  might  "flee  away  and 
be  at  rest" — they  should  bear  me  to-day  to  some  of  your  haunts 


among  the  windings  of  Greta,  or  the  mountain  dells,  where 
methinks  there  must  be  healing  in  the  very  air,  and  music,  I 
am  sure,  in  the  voice  of  a  friend. 


I  wish  Mrs.  Lowell  could  see  my  anemones.  Ask  her  if  she 
would  like  me  to  save  seed  of  them  for  her  :  she,  I  think,  is 
the  gardener  amongst  you. 


BUCKLAND,  May  3Qth,  1826. 

The  author  of  Oliver  Neicman  cannot  find  it  in  his  heart  to 
condemn  me'for  obeying  a  first  impulse,  a  blameless  one,  though 
none  of  the  wisest  perhaps,  which  irresistibly  urges  me  to  say  to 
him  before  he  leaves  England — "  God  bless  you  for  coming  to 
see  me."  The  words  were  in  my  heart,  and  on  my  lips  when  I 
parted  with  you,  though  they  found  no  utterance,  so  my  pen  must 
convey  them  to  you.  I  feel  by  what  a  sacrifice  of  time  and 
convenience  you  have  given  me  the  highest  gratification  which 
can  possibly  fall  to  my  lot,  but  I  know  at  the  same  time  you 
will  never  reckon  as  lost  time  the  days  you  devoted  to  that 
charitable  purpose, 

So  having  relieved  a  very  full  and  grateful  heart  in  as  few 
words  as  I  can  compress  its  feelings,  I  bid  you  farewell  for 
the  present,  praying  God  to  be  your  guide  and  protector  by 
land  and  sea,  and  to  restore  you  in  health  and  safety  to  your 
beloved  family. 

Dear  friend,  farewell. 


*  "Written  after  a  visit  of  Southey  to  Buckland,  and  before  his  departure 
for  the  Continent. 



HABLEY-STEEET,  June  2nd,  1826. 

Dear  Caroline,  God  bless  you.  You  have  no  reason  to 
thank  me  for  a  visit,  from  which,  short  as  it  necessarily  was, 
and  therefore  in  part  painful,  I  derived  as  much  pleasure  as 
it  was  possible  that  I  could  give.  Be  assured  that  whenever  I 
come  within  the  same  reach  of  you,  on  my  annual  journeys, 
it  shall  not  be  a  light  cause  which  will  prevent  me  from  repeat- 
ing it. 

Something  (among  many  other  omitted  things)  I  meant  to 
have  said  about  the  Sherwood  versification,*  and  the  mode  of  - 
practice  by  translating  or  reversifying  into  it.     You  will  see 
its  structure   in   Dr.    Sayers'   poems   somewhat   more  plainly 
defined  than  in  mine,  though  I  think  there  is  more  force  and^ 
freedom  in  my  own.     What  you  have  to  remember  is,  that  the 
common  blank  verse  is  sparingly  to  be  introduced,   and  that 
the  basis  of  the  metre  is  the  six-syllable  line.     You  will  very 
easily  accustom  yourself  to  the  structure,  and  then  you  will  find 
that  it  may  be  written  with  more  ease  than  any  other  measure,^ 
as  much  sweetness  and  equal  strength. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  I  cannot  promise  to  write 
before  my  return  to  England,  for  I  have  a  Journal  to  keep 
which  will  require  all  the  little  leisure  that  travelling  affords. 
About  the  26th  I  hope  again  to  reach  England.  Farewell,  and 
God  bless  you. 

Yours  affecionately, 

*  The  intended  metre  of  Rolin  Hood,  the  unrhymed  verse  of  Thalaba. 



1,  HARLEY  -STREET,  July  2nd,  1826. 

Dear  Caroline,  you  will  be  glad  to  know  that  I  am  re- 
turned safely  after  a  pleasant  visit  to  my  Leyden  friends,  and 
a  pleasant  journey  ;  that  my  expected  attack,  though  not  pre- 
vented, has  been  fairly  kept  down  and  subdued ;  that  I  am  in 
good  health  and  spirits  ;  and  finally,  that  on  Wednesday  night 
next  I  set  out  for  Cumberland,  hoping  to  reach  home  on  Friday 

Now  for  the  next  point  which  will  interest  you — my  return 
for  Parliament  for  the  borough  of  Downton.  Lord  Radnor 
has  done  this  without  my  consent  or  knowledge,  solely  on 
account  of  the  Book  of  the  Church.  I  never  saw  him,  nor  had 
any  communication  with  him.  The  return  is  void,  because  I 
hold  a  pension  of  £200  a-year  during  pleasure.  If  this  were 
not  the  case,  I  would  not  take  the  oath  respecting  the  qualifi- 
cation. And  if  I  were  actually  qualified,  and  no  other  impedi- 
ment existed,  my  inclinations,  habits,  and  plain  straightforward 
sense  would  determine  me  to  reject  the  seat  without  hesitation. 
Therefore  I  will  not  frank  a  letter.  You,  however,  may  direct 
to  me  as  M.P.  till  Parliament  meets,  till  which  time  the  Post 
Office  will  duly  honour  those  two  letters.  The  affair  is  singular 
and  amusing  ;  and  as  it  gratifies  my  friends,  it  gratifies  me,  now 
that  I  have  done  laughing  at  it. 

I  bought  books  enough  to  fill  a  huge  chest,  the  arrival  of 
which  at  Keswick  will  make  me  happy  for  a  week,  and  the  un- 
packing of  which  will  be  a  great  joy  to  all  the  juniors  of  the 
family.  And  as  many  volumes  are  full  of  prints  representing 
the  churches,  chateaus,  &c.  in  the  Low  Countries,  even  the  elders 
will  be  reconciled  to  this  importation,  though  I  begin  to  have 
some  qualms  respecting  the  danger  of  carrying  any  greater 
weight  up  stairs  in  a  house  which  was  certainly  not  built  with 
reference  to  such  a  library. 


You  will  smile  at  hearing  that  I  have  found  a  Sister  Provi- 
dence, whom  I  must  take  the  liberty  of  introducing  to  Mr. 
Butler  in  the  Quarterly  Review. 

I  dine  to-day  at  the  Bishop  of  London's,  who  is  very  kind 
to  me  at  all  times,  and  who  urges  me  to  go  on  with  my  Vindicice. 
To-morrow  I  pass  at  Streatham  with  my  uncle,  and  under  the 
apprehension  that  I  shall  hardly  see  him  again — a  feeling 
which  I  painfully  experienced  at  parting  from  Bilderdijk. 
Life  is  so  full  of  partings,  that  when  one  thinks  of  it  there 
is  a  temptation  to  wish  one's  self  at  the  journey's  end. 

But  I  am  going  home,  to  be  at  rest  I  trust,  and  get  my 
after-dinner  sleep  and  to  be  cool — and  to  be  clean — and  to  write 
prose  and  also  to  write  verse,  and  go  on  the  lake  and  into  the 
lake,  and  play  with  the  cats,  and  talk  nonsense  with  the  children, 
and  learn  Dutch  with  Cuthbert,  and  receive  proof-sheets,  and  rub 
through  life  as  smoothly  and  pleasantly  as  I  can.*  If  I  could 
have  you  within  sight  I -would  not  ask  Fortune  for  much  more. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  October  2nd,  1826. 

I  am  going  this  day,  very  much  against  the  grain,  to  Low- 
ther,  where  I  go  so  seldom  that  I  have  a  sense  of  discourtesy 
and  ungraciousness  in  declining  so  many  invitations.  The  dis- 
tance, which  is  inconvenient  for  one  who  keeps  neither  carriage 
nor  horse,  and  a  great  unwillingness  ever  to  go  from  home  and 
break  up  from  employments,  for  which  I  have  but  little  time  at 
all  times,  occasion  the  apparent  incivility  on  my  part  towards 

*  Southey's  expectations  were  not  fulfilled.  On  his  return  he  found  his 
daughter  Isabel  seriously  ill,  and  on  a  Sunday  evening  in  mid  July  she  died. 


a  family  who  are  very  obliging  in  their  attentions  to  me.  Sir 
Greorge  Beaumont  and  Rogers  are  there.  They  spent  nearly  a 
fortnight  in  Keswick,  and  I  saw  more  of  the  latter  than  I  had 
ever  done  before.  He  has  won  the  hearts  of  my  daughters  by 
his  quiet,  pleasant,  playful  manner,  seasoned  with  a  little  mali- 
ciousness, which  sharpens  his  sayings,  and  for  which  those  who 
are  wounded  by  it  make  him  suffer  in  kind. 

Some  weeks  ago,  when  I  was  fit  for  no  other  employment, 
I  performed  the  melancholy  one  of  arranging  the  correspond- 
ence of  some  five-and-twenty  years.  In  so  doing,  among  other 
buried  papers,  there  came  to  light  the  original  scrawl  of  "The 
Devil's  Thoughts,"  for  which  you  once  asked  me,  and  which  at 
that  time  I  looked  for  in  vain.  In  some  idle  hour  I  will  tran- 
scribe it  for  you.  I  found  also  a  register  of  some  fantastic 
dreams,  noted  down,  as  you  may  well  suppose,  not  supersti- 
tiously,  but  for  their  strange  combinations.  The  use  of  having 
kept  such  a  register  I  felt  when  writing  the  Vindicice,  and  had 
very  often  regretted  the  loss  of  these  few  but  curious  pages.* 

My  papers,  dear  Caroline,  will  afford  rare  picking  when  I 
am  gone.  Henry  Taylor,  my  companion  on  both  my  Dutch 
expeditions,  will  take  the  charge  of  putting  them  together 
according  to  the  directions  which  I  may  leave.  There  is  no 
one  connected  with  me  to  whom  the  office  could  be  entrusted, 
and  he  has,  to  recommend  him  for  it,  sufficient  abilities,  personal 
acquaintance,  and  goodwill. 

I  should  like  to  show  you  a  letter  which  I  have  received 
from  an  American  poetess — a  widow — telling  me  how  she  has 
been  crossed  in  love. 

I  may  perhaps  bid  farewell  in  rhyme  to  the  letters  M.  P. 
Let  me  hear  from  you,  and  never  be  withheld  from  writing 
because  I  have  not  written.  A  letter  from  you  is  always  wished 
for,  and  always  welcome,  if  it  did  but  bring  better  tidings  of 
your  own  health. 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 


*  See  Appendix  to  the  present  volume. 




KESWICK,  December  llth,  1826. 

The  best  thing  I  can  do  about  the  Devil's  Thoughts  (for 
that  is  the  original  title  of  the  poem)  will  be  to  put  in  some- 
thing [about  Person  himself,  and  the  impudent  story  which 
makes  him  the  author.*  No  sooner  said  than  done,  for  the 
intention  having  arisen,  as  soon  as  I  put  pen  to  paper  for  the 
purpose  of  writing  to  you,  with  that  same  pen  the  following 
stanzas  were  rough-shaped.  They  will,  I  dare  say,  come  into 
better  form  hereafter : — 

As  he  went  along  the  Strand, 

Between  three  in  the  morning  and  four, 

He  saw  an  odd-looking  person, 
Who  reel'd  from  Perry's  door. 

And  he  thought  that  all  the  world  over 

In  vain  for  a  man  you  might  seek, 
Who  could  drink  more  like  a  Trojan, 

Or  talk  more  like  a  Greek. 

But  if  anyone  had  told  him 

It  would  one  day  be  matter  of  talk, 
That  this  erudite  bibber  had  written 

The  story  of  this  Walk, 

Why,  that  whosoever  first  said  so 

Told  a  swinging  lie 
Is  what  the  Devil  would  have  thought, 

And  so  say  I. 

*  Miss  Bowles  had  urged  Southey  to  publish  The  Devil's  Walk  as  his 
own,  and  so  set  at  rest  the  question  of  its  authorship.  In  a  subsequent 
letter  (December  21st,  1826)  he  sends  a  number  of  new  stanzas,  including 
that  beginning 

"  A  peeress  drove  by  in  her  pride,"  &c. 

It  is  a  likeness,  and  so  good  a  one  that  I  should  not  like  it  to  get  abroad, 
for  it  would  certainly  be  recognized."  On  December  31st  he  sends  the  lines 
describing  Irving : — 

"With  gestures  and  throes,  and  ahs !  and  ohs  ! 

Far  famed  his  flock  for  fright'ning, 
And  thundering  with  his  voice,  the  while 
His  eyes  zig-zag  like  lightning." 

"  Your  favourite  poem  gets  a  little  tinkering  every  now  and  then,  so  that 


If  Person  had  been  alive  the  verses  should  have  carried  a 
sting  with  them,  for  I  have  heard  that  he  was  inclined  to  take 
credit  for  this  poem,  though  he  had  not  the  effrontery  to  claim  it. 

And  now  that  I  have  begun  with  doggrel,  you  shall  have 
some  more.  They  are  verses  which  are  to  be  sung  instead  of 
said,  composed  upon  occasion  of  some  circulating  letters  solicit- 
ing subscriptions  to  all  sorts  of  works  by  the  writer,  who  hap- 
pened to  have  a  name  which  rendered  him  capable  of  the  sort 
of  immortality  he  deserved: — 

Mr.  Frizzel,  Mr.  Frizzel, 

You  may  whistle,  you  may  whistle, 

Long  enough,  long  enough, 
Ere  I  answer  your  epistle. 
For  want  of  asking,  you 
Will  lose  nothing,  it  is  true ; 
And  it  plainly  may  be  seen 
You  succeed  among  the  green ; 
But  however  you  may  try  it, 

Mr.  Frizzel,  Mr.  Frizzel, 
You  will  get  nothing  by  it 

From  me,  who  am  grizzle. 
Cunning  shaver  though  you  be, 
With  your  puff  and  flummery, 
You  shall  never  frizzle  me, 

Mr.  Frizzel,  Mr.  Frizzel. 

I  know  not  when  the  Devil  will  fairly  be  laid.  It  now  contains  forty-nine- 
stanzas,  thirty  of  which  have  now  been  added,  and  four  of  the  others  [re- 
written?] since  it  was  first  written  and  printed.  .  .  .  The  subject  is 
not  one  which  would  suit  Cruikshank ;  his  grotesque  ought  always  to  be—' 
supernatural ;  there  he  has  no  equal ;  but  when  he  deals  with  mere  huma- 
nity his  caricature  becomes  coarse.  I  have  tales  in  store  which  he  ought 
to  embellish,  if  I  had  but  time  to  write  them."  In  a  letter  of  January  30th, 
1827,  Southey  writes  :  "  Do  not  think  that  I  overlook  the  lawyers  ;  there  is 
a  stanza  about  them,  alluding  to  Cain  and  Abel ;  but  I  have  that  to  say  of 
them,  in  sober  prose  and  severe  truth,  which  will  make  the  whole  profession, 
as  far  as  its  members  are  professional,  hate  me  as  heartily  as  the  Whigs  and 
Roman  Catholics  do — an  z7-liberal  profession ;  and  the  first  hopeful  symp- 
toms of  an  improved  state  of  public  feeling  will  be  when  it  is  regarded  so, 
and  when  a  counsellor,  who  for  his  fee  will  defend  any  cause,  right  or 
wrong,  shall  be  looked  on  as  out  of  the  pale  of  honourable  society.  You. 
know  I  gave  the  Court  of  Chancery  the  name  of  '  Eldon  Hole.'  " 


You  may  praise  and  puff, 
Or  take  it  in  snuff, 
And  set  up  your  bristle 
As  sharp  as  a  thistle, 
If  you  will,  if  you  will, 

Mr.  Frizzel,  Mr.  Frizzel. 
With  my  little  money,  I, 

Alack  and  well-a-day ! 
Have  so  many  fish  to  fry, 

That  whatever  you  may  say, 
I  shall  not  be  taken  in 

To  frizzle  it  away. 
Mr.  Frizzel,  Mr.  Frizzel, 
I  am  grizzle,  I  am  grizzle, 
And  therefore  you  may  whistle 

Long  enough,  long  enough, 
Ere  I  answer  your  epistle. 

The  printer  has  delayed  my  second  volume ;  it  will  be  a 
week  before  his  work  is  completed,  and  in  another,  I  suppose,, 
the  book  will  be  abroad. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



BUCKLAND,  December  25th,  1826. 

I  set  you  thinking  of  the  Devil !  * 

Fie,  sir!  fie! 

Pray,  was  it  I 

Gave  you  those  curious  particulars, 
All  so  authentic  and  new, 
About  his  red  waistcoat  and  breeches  blue, 

Southey  had  written  on  a  slip  of  paper — 

"  Who  set  me  thinking  of  the  Devil  ? 

You  did,  you, 
Caroline,  Caroline ; 
Yes,  it  is  true.— R    S." 


And  that  elegant  whisk  of  his  tail, 
Or,  as  Leigh  Hunt  would  call  it, 
"That  jaunty  swale  ?" 

You  must  have  been 

I  won't  say  where, 
To  take  such  notes 

Of  his  dress  and  air ; 
And  then  to  say  it  was  I 

Set  you  thinking  of  the  Devil ! 

Fie,  sir!  fie! 

The  fact  is  'twas  little  I  knew 
(Poor  innocent  I!)  of  the  old  Buggaboo, 
Till  that  wonderful  picture  you  drew, 
Which  beats  Mister  Fuseli's  out  and  out, 
That  all  the  world  made  such  a  rout  about 
(You  know  best  where  you  stood, 

While  taking  the  view) ; 
But  ever  since  I  saw  it, 

By  all  that's  true ! 
I  never  think  of  the  Devil 
Without  thinking  of  you  ! 

Your  affectionate  friend, 



KESWICZ,  February  21st,  1827. 

lam  as  busy  in  getting  forward  the  third  volume  of  the 
Peninsular  War  as  any  man  need  be,  can  be,  or  ought  to  be ; 
and  in  the  course  of  ten  days  I  hope  to  have  it  in  the  press, 
with  the  full  intention  of  completing  it  by  Christmas.  The 
materials  which  I  have  collected  for  it,  and  which  have  never 
seen  the  light,  are  very  copious  and  good ;  but  most  of  them 


were  transcribed  so  long  ago  that  I  must  have  the  trouble  of 
again  making  myself  master  of  their  contents  before  they  can 
be  arranged.  However,  the  whole  work  which  lies  before  me 
here  is  easy  and  pleasant,  and  the  first  proof-sheet  will  put  me 
in  good  spirits. 

Captain  Bruce  wrote  to  me  on  the  10th  from  ship-board,  off 
the  Nore.  I  like  him  dearly,  and  the  better  because  he  writes 
earnestly  and  affectionately  about  you.  He  says  that  you 
brood  over  your  affairs  too  much,  that  he  is  quite  distressed  at 
it,  and  that  this  is  the  only  thing  he  regrets  in  leaving  Eng- 
land. And  he  asks  me  to  write  to  you  and  endeavour  to  com- 
bat this.  Alas !  I  fear  that  uneasy  affairs  are  like  uneasy 
feelings,  not  to  be  got  rid  of,  though]  the  spirit  should  be  will- 
ing. But  that  you  do  not  give  way  to  despondency,  that  you 
have  a  buoyant  spirit,  I  believe.  If  the  distance  were  not  so 
fearful,  for  one  who  cannot  take  seat  in  a  mail-coach,  to  be 
trundled  along,  day  and  night,  like  a  coach  parcel  or  a  basket 
of  game,  to  the  journey's  end,  I  would  prescribe  a  summer  and 
autumn  here  as  the  best  remedy  for  ill  spirits  and  ill  health. 
Is  it  quite  impracticable? 

To-day's  post  has  brought  the  news  of  Lord  Liverpool's 
death-stroke,  politically,  if  not  naturally.  It  is  a  great  public 
calamity,  though  if  the  life  and  talents  of  any  individual  are 
essential  to  the  designs  of  Providence,  Providence,  we  may  be 
well  assured,  preserves  him.  A  crisis,  however,  in  the  cabinet 
must,  I  think,  be  brought  about  by  this  unexpected  shock.  I 
heard  some  weeks  ago  more  than  was  good  of  intrigues  for 
forming  a  Catholic  Administration.  But  Canning's  own  health 
is  broken.  At  the  time  of  Lord  Londonderry's  death,  I  know 
that  his  friends  (Canning's)  thought  one  harassing  session  of 
Parliament  would  destroy  him,  for  he  was  then  kept  up  by  the 
regular  use  of  opium  and  the  warm  bath.  A  session  of  fair 
weather  saved  him ;  but  it  is  now  squally  again,  and  indeed  he 
has  been  brewing  storms  for  himself,  which  he  will  not  find  it 
either  pleasant  to  ride  in  or  easy  to  direct. 

I  too  have  had  a  loss,  and  one  which  cannot  be  supplied, 
in  Sir  George  Beaumont,  a  most  amiable  and  excellent  man, 

I  2 


with  whom  I  had  been  acquainted  more  than  twenty  years, 
till  that  acquaintance  had  ripened  into  a  cordial  esteem  and 
liking,  which  might  almost  be  called  friendship.  If  he  were 
in  London  when  I  went  to  town,  his  house  was  one  of  the  first 
to  which  I  went  after  my  arrival.  This  place  he  was  very  fond 
of,  and  enjoyed  it  never  more  than  when  he  lodged  here  for 
several  weeks  last  autumn.  I  parted  from  him  at  Lowther, 
and  could  have  thought  that,  though  twenty  years  my  elder, 
his  was  the  better  life.  Lady  Beaumont  has  written  to  me 
since  his  death ;  she  bears  the  bereavement  with  great  fortitude 
at  present,  but  it  is  an  utter  bereavement,  for  she  has  no  object 
of  affection  left.  This  is  her  first  sorrow,  after  a  union  of  fifty 
years,  and  it  will  last  till  the  end  of  her  days,  which,  consider- 
ing her  excellent  constitution,  may  yet  be  far  distant. 

So  every  year  takes  something  from  us !  What  will  this 
take  ?  I  had  better  say  what  it  will  bring  in  the  way  of  good, 
and  I  know  nothing  better  than  that  it  should  bring  you  to 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  April  5th,  1827. 

Do  you  remember  saying  something  to  me  in  a  letter,  some 
two  years  ago,  about  the  share  which  the  ladies  took  in  the 
Joint-Stock  Religious  Societies  of  the  day?  It  pleased  me  well 
at  the  time,  and  I  fitted  it  the  other  day  to  a  note  for  my  Dia- 
logues, putting  only  a where  the  word  Southampton  stood, 

that  it  might  not  be  known  in  what  part  of  England  my  lively 
correspondent  lives. 

That  Paper  which  offends  you  by  its  attack  on  Smith  (andr 
which  I  have  not  yet  seen)  is  written  by  a  young  man  whom  I 


introduced  to  the  Quarterly  Review.  H is  his  name.  He 

works  as  a  law  scrivener  with  his  father  in  Carey-street,  and 
has  every  possible  disadvantage  of  education  and  circumstances  ; 
added  to  which  his  manners  are  far  from  pleasing,  and  he  takes 
no  pains  to  conceal  an  opinion  of  his  own  talents,  which  appears 
inordinate  to  all  who  are  not  willing  to  rate  them  as  they  really 
deserve  to  be  rated,  and  which  is  more  likely  to  give  offence 
than  to  find  sympathy  or  to  excite  pity.  Lockhart  was  dis- 
gusted with  it,  but  I  suspect  that  he  has  taken  him  into  favour 
upon  the  score  of  this  very  attack  on  Smith,  for  he  has  bespoken 
from  him  a  continuation  of  the  subject,  with  a  retrospect  to 
Scott's  earlier  novels. 

My  plans  for  the  season  of  the  hay-asthma  are  these : — I 
shall  leave  home  the  second  week  in  May,  for  about  a  week's 
rambling  with  Wordsworth  in  a  part  of  this  country  which  I 
have  never  seen,  which  is  Furness,  with  the  vale  of  the  Duddon 
and  the  lower  part  of  the  Esk.  My  whole  family  will  join  me 
then  at  Kendal,  with  Miss  Hutchinson  (Mrs.  Wordsworth's  sis- 
ter), and  perhaps  Dora  Wordsworth,  and  we  go  to  Harrogate 
for  a  month,  Cuthbert  and  all,  in  the  expectation  that  it  will 
be  salutary  for  the  girls,  and  a  hope  that  the  waters  may  also 
be  useful  to  their  mother.  We  shall  visit  the  Caves  and  other 
things  on  the  way,  and  return  by  way  of  Wensley  Dale,  thus 
including  the  finest  objects  in  the  West  Riding.  Had  you 
been  as  much  on  this  side  London  as  you  are  beyond  it,  you 
might  easily  have  met  us  there !  We  mean  to  go  into  a  house, 
not  to  be  at  one  of  the  hotels,  and  we  shall  also  come  away 
before  what  is  called  "the  season"  begins. 

So  much  for  my  plans,  which  have  at  least  this  good,  that 
they  will  not  separate  me  from  my  family,  and  will  give  the 
younger  part  a  great  deal  of  pleasure.  I  shall  feel  the  want  of 
my  books,  and  must  be  looked  after,  lest  I  should  hang  my- 
self in  a  fit  of  despondency. 

God  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 




BFCKLAND,  April  15th,  1827. 

Are  you  not  afraid  of  making  me  too  vain  by  grafting  any 
sentence  of  my  writing  into  a  work  of  yours  ?  I  shall  be  ready 
to  sing  when  I  see  it.  "  Sure,  says  this  little  woman,  this  is 
none  of  I."  Though  I  recollect  writing  something  on  the  sub- 
ject you  speak  of,  I  do  not  remember  what. 

There  was  another  paper  in  the  Quarterly  Review  which 
offended  me  as  much,  more,  perhaps,  than  the  dismemberment 
of  poor  Smith — the  attack  on  Milman,  of  whose  poetry  I  am  by 
no  means  an  enthusiastic  admirer,  and  least  of  all  of  his  "  Ann 
Boleyn";  but  I  hate  malice  and  unfairness,  against  whomso- 
ever levelled,  and  I  do  think  that  critique  a  very  malicious  and 
unfair  one.  Shakespeare  and  Milman !  about  as  fair  a  com- 
parison as  one  would  be  between  the  full  moon  and  an  argand 
lamp ;  and  yet  the  lamp  is  a  pretty  thing  in  its  way,  if  looked 
at  without  the  proximity  of  overpowering  lustre.  I  hope  you 
did  not  introduce  the  writer  of  that  spiteful  paper,  too,  to  the 
Quarterly  Review. 

Half  an  hour  ago  I  finished  the  last  page  of  your  second 
volume  of  the  Peninsular  War  the  most  interesting  book  I 
have  seen  since  I  read  the  first  volume.  You  have  left  off  very 
cunningly  at  a  point  of  the  highest  interest.  I  had  no  idea 
what  a  stupendous  work  was  that  of  the  Lines  of  Torres  Yedras, 
though,  parrot-like,  I  had  spoken  the  words  familiarly.  I  did 
not  expect  to  have  heard  you  speak  as  you  do  of  Sir  E,.  Wilson. 
Surely  you  can  neither  esteem  nor  place  much  confidence  in  the 
man,  however  you  may  justly  commend  his  military  conduct 
in  the  affairs  you  notice  in  this  volume.  Alas !  alas !  what  do 
you  say  now  of  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  character  ?  Have 
not  the  people  of  both  nations  fallen  grievously  short  of  what 
was  highly  expected  of  them  ? 

And  what  do  you  say  to  the  chaotic  state  of  our  political 


world  ?  Mr.  Canning  has  his  hand  on  the  helm,  but  how  will 
he  steer  the  vessel  of  the  State  through  the  straits  into  which 
lie  has  impelled  her  ?  What  a  strange  upset  of  old  principles 
and  old  measures !  Now  we  shall  have  the  Age  of  Liberality, 
if  not  of  Reason.  I  heard  (from  a  quarter  I  can  rely  on)  that 
the  very  first  words  Lord  Liverpool  articulated  after  his  seizure 
were,  "  Where  is  Canning  ?  Is  he  in  the  House  of  Com- 
mons?" In  my  place,  I  suppose,  might  have  been  the  old 
statesman's  first  jealous  feeling. 

I  am  glad  you  are  to  move  early  in  May,  and  can  well 
understand  the  comfort  it  will  be  to  you  to  have  all  your  dear 
ones  with  you.  But  will  you  cheat  the  catarrh  so  well  by 
remaining  long  stationary  at  Harrogate  as  if  you  continued 
moving  about  ?  I  know  your  horror  of  locomotion,  but  truly 
I  cannot  fancy  you  a  watering-place  visitor,  a  pump-room 
lounger.  I  should  as  soon  expect  to  meet  an  eagle  sauntering 
up  Bond-street.  So  surely  as  I  cannot  do  what  I  like,  I  would 
if  I  could  do  what  I  like — betake  myself  this  year  to  Harro- 
gate, in  the  hope  of  being  noticed  by  you  and  your  family,  and 
in  despite  of  my  horror  of  watering-places,  and  Harrogate 
water,  which  I  smelt  once,  and  that  was  enough !  But  ifs  and 
buts  are  the  thorns  of  life,  or  rather  its  thorn  hedges,  clipping 
one  in  everywhere.  Just  now,  however,  in  spite  of  ifs  and  buts, 
I  am  in  special  good  humour  with  life,  having  had  a  spell  of 
better  health  for  the  last  week,  and  not  one  lawyer's  letter  or 
other  grievance — a  rare  halcyon  season  for  me  !  and  I  hasten  to 
write  to  you  while  it  lasts.  Sometimes  I  think  with  myself 
that  what  you  so  truly  remarked  of  Alaric  Watts  might  in 
some  sense  be  apparently  applicable  to  me.  For  if  I  am  not 
often  quarrelling,  I  seem  to  be  always  complaining ;  but  you 
must  not  think  me  a  willing  complainer,  though  I  acknowledge 
it  is  very  weak  ever  to  complain.  But,  indeed,  I  am  weak,  and 
the  hand  of  God  is  heavy  on  me.  Surely  there  are  persons 
who  seem  set  apart  for  almost  continual  suffering.  I  believe 
this ;  but  then  I  believe  also,  that  in  the  end  the  balance  will 
be  made  even ;  and  what  will  it  matter  then  what  weight  has 
borne  down  the  scale  of  misfortune  ?  Now,  I  am  sure  you  will 


not  call  this  a  desponding  faith,  though  my  kind  Asiatic  friend 
could  not  understand  it. 

The  misery  of  a  fretful  spirit,  which  turns  sweet  to  bitter, 
or  mere  scratches  into  wounds,  is  not  mine,  thank  God !  So, 
concluding  with  this  modest  panegyric  on  myself,  I  leave  you 
to  assent  to  it,  if  you  will  be  so  good-natured. 

Your  affectionate  friend, 



KESWICK,  April  23rd,  1827. 

The  Paper  upon  Milman  I  have  not  read,  caring  too  little 

for  any  such  subject.     But  it  is  H 's  writing,  and  I  an 

sorry  to  find  him  addicted  to  ill-natured  criticism,,  which  no- 
thing that  I  had  seen  of  him  would  have  led  me  to  suspect. 
I  have  seen  him  only  twice,  and  with  a  strong  disposition  to 
like  him;  but  there  was  something  about  him  that  rendered 
this  impossible,  though  I  never  saw  greater  or  more  unequi- 
vocal proofs  of  ability  in  any  young  man's  writings.  I  know 
Milman,  who  spent  a  summer  here  some  years  ago.  He  was 
then  a  little  spoilt  by  Eton-ism,  and  has  since  been  more  so  by 
admiration,  fashionable  society,  and  prosperity.  None  of  his 
latter  publications  have  fallen  in  my  way,  and  I  believe  he  has 
done  nothing  to  equal  the  promise  which  his  Samor  afforded. 
Cumbrous  as  that  poem  is,  and  ill-pitched  in  its  style,  it  was  a 
very  hopeful  production — the  more  so  for  its  faults,  which  were 
of  the  right  kind. 

Sir  Robert  Wilson  has,  I  daresay,  been  as  much  surprised 
as  you  were  to  see  himself  so  fairly  and  so  fully  spoken  of  by  a 
man  who,  he  must  be  conscious,  thinks  very  ill  of  his  character 
and  general  conduct.  He  must  be  still  more  surprised  at  the 
accuracy  of  the  statement,  for  I  had  the  whole  of  his  letters  to 


Mr.  Frere.  The  importance  of  occupying  Ciudad  Rodrigo  at 
that  time  cannot  be  overrated ;  the  merit  of  the  individual  in 
doing  so  is  a  different  consideration.  I  fully  understood  it  at 
the  time,  and  when  I  talked  over  this  part  of  the  history  with 
Frere,  I  found  that  he  estimated  it  exactly  as  I  had  done. 
Wilson  was  a  dirty,  moody  boy  when  we  were  in  the  same 
remove  at  Westminster. 

The  Spaniards  and  Portuguese  are  not  fallen  in  my  estima- 
tion, though  I  regard  the  condition  of  both  peoples  with  com- 
miseration and  sorrow.  Those  countries  require  a  very  different 
kind  of  reform  from  what  their  reformers  are  attempting  to 
bring  about.  They  want  an  able  Minister,  who  would  employ 
arbitrary  power  in  making  the  laws  efficient,  and  preparing  the 
people  for  a  constitutional  government.  At  present  they  are 
in  the  worst  state  for  any  experiments.  In  such  struggles  as 
Spain  and  Portugal  have  gone  through,  the  best  and  noblest 
spirits  are  cut  off  ;  they  sacrifice  themselves  in  the  first  heat  of 
the  contest,  and  the  actors  who  remain  after  such  a  series  of 
events  are  left  with  blasted  feelings,  or,  what  is  even  worse, 
with  hardened  hearts. 

Six  months  ago  I  heard  that  Canning  was  intriguing  to 
oust  those  of  his  colleagues  who  have  now  withdrawn,  and 
form  an  administration  with  the  Whigs,  placing  himself  at  the 
head.  The  only  quarter  from  which  I  have  received  any  infor- 
mation upon  the  subject  speaks  of  the  seceders  as  ill-used  by  the 
king  ;  in  fact,  as  deceived  by  him  till  the  very  last.  Living,  as 
I  do,  in  retirement,  and  having  much  less  intercourse  than  I 
fomerly  had  with  persons  who  are  about  the  scene  of  action, 
it  would  be  useless  to  speculate  upon  the  course  of  intrigues 
which  are  now  in  progress.  As  for  private  concerns,  I  have 
nothing  to  expect  or  hope  in  any  possible  turn  that  affairs  may 
take  ;  and  as  for  public  concerns,  my  reliance  upon  Providence 
is  such  that  I  look  with  perfect  composure  upon  a  state  of 
affairs  which,  were  it  not  for  that  reliance,  might  make  me 

I  go  to  Harrogate  for  the  sake  of  the  girls  and  their 
mother,  all  of  whom,  and  especially  the  latter,  need  what  I 


hope  may  be  found  there.  It  is  a  hideous  place,  but  there  are 
things  within  reach  which  will  draw  me  out,  so  that  I  shall 
have  change  of  air  and  exercise  enough,  and  I  reckon  some- 
thing upon  the  effect  of  the  waters.  I  shall  miss  my  books  and 
the  quiet  uniformity  in  which  my  days  pass  here.  But  even  a 
circulating  library  will  supply  something,  and,  moreover,  old 
books  may  be  found  at  Leeds,  and  probably  I  shall  put  myself 
some  morning  into  the  stage  for  that  city,  for  the  purpose  of 
bringing  back  a  cargo  in  the  evening.  I  have  no  acquaint- 
ances in  that  part  of  the  country,  and  whether  we  may  pick  up 
any  remains  to  be  seen ;  it  is  likely  enough  that  there  may  be 
persons  there  who  will  be  willing  to  pick  up  me. 

If  I  had  been  in  London  I  must  have  attended  to  receive 
a  speech  with  the  Gold  Medal,  looked  like  a  fool,  and  made  a 
fool's  speech  in  return.  The  medal  will  please  my  wife  and 
daughters,  and  serve  as  something  which  they  may  show  their 
visitors.  So,  as  it  pleases  them,  it  becomes  me  to  be  pleased ; 
otherwise  I  could  shake  my  head,  and  moralize  upon  the  un- 
profitableness of  such  marks  of  honour. 

Grod  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  July  Wth,  1827. 

Here  we  are,  Edith  and  Bertha  the  better  for  the  Harrogate 
waters,  their  mother  only  better  inasmuch  as  the  new  circum- 
stances there  may  sometimes  serve  to  withdraw  her  from  the 
melancholy  and  almost  hopeless  course  of  her  habitual  thoughts 
and  feelings — a  sore  grief,  of  which  I  never  before  said  as  much 
as  is  now  expressed  here  to  any  human  being,  but  which  presses 
upon  me  more  heavily  than  my  bodily  infirmities. 

Send  to   your  circulating  library  for  Isaac  Comnenus.      I 


may  whisper  to  you  that  it  is  the  work  of  Henry  Taylor,  my 
fellow-traveller  of  the  last  and  the  preceding  year,  and  was  in 
part  written  while  he  was  waiting  for  my  recovery  at  Leyden. 
You  will  find  in  it  originality,  and  feeling,  and  genius. 

I  have  been  letting  Murray  and  his  editor  know  that  the 
incivility  with  which  they  have  treated  me  during  the  last  six 
months  must  be  carried  no  further,  and  in  consequence  they  are 
both  my  very  humble  servants.  Still,  however,  it  is  uncertain 
whether  I  shall  continue  to  bear  any  part  in  the  Quarterly 
Revieiv.  Murray  is,  as  you  may  suppose,  in  a  woeful  quan- 
dary, not  knowing  which  course  it  is  his  interest  to  take,  but 
beginning  to  apprehend  that  it  is  the  safest  way  to  keep  the 
Review  in  its  old  course.  During  the  perplexity  Lockhart  has 
been  in  no  very  comfortable  state ;  the  result  I  still  consider 
doubtful,  though  Lockhart  writes  as  if  he  thought  otherwise. 
If  the  journal  is  to  be  guided  by  Croker's  influence,  and  follow 
Mr.  Canning's  crooked  path,  of  course  I  withdraw  from  it.  If 
it  keep  to  the  better  part,  I  have  told  the  editor  that  my  last 
paper,  which  he  has  so  unceremoniously  withheld,  must  be  in- 
serted, and  that  no  future  communication  is  to  be  postponed 
from  one  number  to  another,  and  that  this  is  the  condition  on 
which  those  communications  are  to  be  continued,  for  writing  in 
any  periodical  work  as  I  do  only  for  the  purpose  of  helping  out 
the  means  of  a  moderate  expenditure,  "  I  can  neither  afford  to 
waste  my  labour  nor  to  wait  for  its  wages."  Upon  this  plain 
statement  he  is  now  chewing  the  cud.  Meantime  I  have 
enough  to  do  with  the  Colloquies,  which  from  their  nature 
occupy  much  time  in  the  composition,  and  with  the  Peninsular 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 





BUCKLAKD,  July  3rd,  1827. 

Well  I  know  there  are  griefs  far  heavier  to  he  home  than 
any  hodily  infirmity.  If  human  sympathy  could  lighten  yours, 
how  greatly  would  the  weight  he  lessened !  But  you  have  bet- 
ter  comfort,  more  efficacious  halm,  and  I  pray  Grod  to  hestow  it 
unsparingly  upon  you.  The  perpetual  sight  of  constitutional 
despondency  in  one  nearly  and  dearly  connected  with  us  is  an 
eating  sorrow — one  that  hegan  to  prey  upon  me  from  my  earliest 
recollection — and  has  no  douht  cast  its  shadow  over  a  temper 
naturally  joyous. 

I  had  a  visit  yesterday  from  Mr.  Bowles  of  Bremhill — a 
very  short  one,  for  he  had  missed  my  habitation  in  the  morning 
and  driven  past  it  to  Milf ord  and  farther.  He  is  looking  re- 
markahly  well,  and  appears  to  he  in  particularly  good  spirits : 
inquired  much  for  you,  and  desired  me  to  give  you  his  kind 
regards.  A  strange  story  he  told  me,  which,  though  he  gave  it 
very  circumstantially,  I  can  hardly  give  credit  to — that  Lady 
Beaumont  hearing  (heaven  knows  how  or  where)  that  I  "adored 
Mr.  "Wordsworth,"  felt  assured  that  she  and  I  were  "kindred 
spirits,"  and  had  decided  to  write  to  me,  and  propose  that  I 
should  take  up  my  ahode  with  her ;  "  which,"  said  Mr.  Bowles, 
"  I  strongly  dissuaded  her  from  doing,  assuring  her  you  were 
not  likely  to  accept  the  proposition."  No  indeed  I  am  not 
likely  to  do  so,  nor  should  I  have  felt  much  flattered  by 
the  motive  of  Lady  B.'s  invitation.  Admire  and  delight  in 
Mr.  Wordsworth's  noble  poetry  I  certainly  do.  "  Adore  Mr. 
Wordsworth  "  I  certainly  do  not ;  and  though  I  fear  mine  may 
be  an  enthusiastic  and  rather  romantic  nature,  I  never  did  or 
oould  feel  that  sort  of  enthusiasm  which  seems  now  and  then  to 
make  women  forget  they  are  women,  and  have  some  little  femi- 
nine dignity  and  propriety  to  maintain,  and  have  no  business  to 
run  about  the  world  "adoring"  poets  or  any  such  golden  calves. 


You  know  you  could  hardly  send  me  to  see  Mr.  Wordsworth 
even  with  your  passport;  and  yet  as  far  as  respecting  high 
intellect  goes,  I  will  yield  to  no  one  consistently  with  self 
respect.  This  effusion  of  dignified  indignation  will  amuse 
you,  I  think ;  but  perhaps  you  are  not  [surprised  ?]  to  learn 
that  I  can  be  a  little  bit  of  a  virago. 

Grod  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  August  nth,  1827. 

Your  story  of  Lady  Beaumont  surprises  me,  not  so  much 
at  her  having  formed  the  intention,  as  that  she  should  not  have 
given  me  some  intimation  of  it,  and  felt  her  way  through  that 
channel.  She  is  an  excellent  woman,  with  a  warm  heart  and  a 
warmth  of  manners  which  even  high  life  has  hardly  subdued  ; 
very  much  of  an  adorer  herself,  but  the  more  she  is  known  the 
more  she  is  to  be  esteemed  for  her  sterling  worth.  I  wish  you 
knew  her,  and  should  be  very  glad  if  she  invited  you  to  visit 
her,  and  carried  you  from  London  to  Coleorton.  You  would 
then  be  within  reasonable  reach  of  Keswick,  and  I  would  call 
for  you  there  on  my  next  return  from  the  south. 

In  half  an  hour  I  set  off  to  meet  Wordsworth  and  his 
family,  Quillinan,  and  I  know  not  who  besides,  at  a  lakeside 
pic-nic  on  Leatheswater,  the  half-way  rendezvous  between  us. 
The  weather  is  dark  and  cold,  not,  however,  likely  to  end  in 
rain.  My  cattle  are  now  mounting  the  cart;  I  follow  by  a 
swifter  conveyance,  and  have  thus  a  scrap  of  time  sufficient 
for  making  some  [progress]  in  a  letter.  You  will  be  pleased  to 
hear  that  Murray  has  placed  himself  upon  better  terms  with  me 
than  he  ever  had  any  pretensions  to  hold  before.  He  took  my 
advice  concerning  the  Quarterly  Review  wisely,  and  accordingly 


•there  is  an  end  of  all  vacillation  there,  and  Sister  Providence 
will  exhibit  in  the  next  number,  leading  the  way. 

August  18th. — A  party  of  strangers  interrupted  me  yester- 
day, so  little  at  this  season  can  I  reckon  even  upon  half  an 
hour  early  in  the  mornng. 

Garrick's  letters  I  hear  nothing  of,  and  am  very  well  con- 
tented not  to  hear  of  them.  But  it  is  settled  that  I  am  to  edit 
General  Wolfe's  and  prefix  his  life.  In  the  way  of  editing 
there  is  nothing  to  do  except  adding  a  few  notes,  where  there 
are  any  pegs  to  hang  them  on.  The  letters  will  be  thought 
very  worthless.  The  life  can  be  little  more  than  the  story  of 
two  short  campaigns — that  in  which  Louisbourg  was  taken, 
and  that  of  the  ensuing  year  in  which  he  fell.  With  both, 
however,  I  can  do  something,  especially  as  a  sketch  of  Canadian 
affairs  ought  to  be  introduced.  So  if  you  know  anything  con- 
cerning Wolfe,  help  me  to  it.  He  was  a  man  of  heroic  charac- 
ter, and  in  that  respect  has  not  been  praised  beyond  his  deserts. 
And  he  had  the  merit  of  being  a  disciplinarian  at  a  time  when 
the  army  was  in  its  very  worst  state. 

Our  yesterday's  party  went  off  well.  We  met,  to  the  num- 
ber of  twenty-eight,  in  a  beautiful  situation,  and  the  weather 
could  not  have  been  more  favourable  for  lighting  up  the  moun- 
tains, while  it  was  cool  enough  to  make  us  enjoy  a  good  fire  on 
the  shore.  "  There  comes  Burn  em  wood"  said  Mr.  Barber  as 
Willy  Wordsworth  was  bringing  a  huge  load  of  sticks  for  the  fire ; 
upon  which  Mr.  Quillinan  rejoined — "You  shall  not  be  called 
dunce  inane  for  saying  that."  These  parties  always  dispose  me 
to  melancholy,  and  that  produces  an  effort  for  mirth.  Too 
many  of  our  enjoyments  in  this  life  are  but  bitter-sweets  at 
the  best ;  it  is  a  comfort  to  think  and  feel  that  the  bitters  are 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 




BUCKLAND,  September  3rd,  1827. 

I  like  the  thought  of  your  editing  "Wolfe's  letters  and  writ- 
ing his  life  better  than  your  undertaking  the  same  office  for 
Garrick's.  Part  of  Wolfe's  family  has  dwelt  in  this  neighbour- 
hood, for  every  Sunday,  in  my  way  to  church,  my  eye  glances 
on  a  tombstone,  whereon  it  is  recorded,  that  underneath  lie  the 
remains  of  Mr.  William  Burcher,  "first  cousin  to  the  late 
General  Wolfe  ;  "  and  I  recollect  an  old  lady  whose  maiden  name 
was  Burcher,  one  of  the  same  family,  the  remnant  of  which  is 
now,  I  am  told,  settled  in  or  about  a  place  called  Saint  Cross, 
near  Winchester.  I  daresay  I  could  glean  some  information 
in  that  quarter  if  you  thought  it  worth  trying  for.  Moreover, 
in  a  country-seat  in  this  neighbourhood  belonging  to  friends 
of  mine  there  hangs  a  very  fine  oil  portrait  of  General  Wolfe. 
The  owners  of  the  place  have  let  it,  and  have  been  long  absent, 
but  I  know  where  to  find  them,  and  would  ask  any  question 
about  the  picture  if  you  choose  I  should.  I  have  a  faint  recol- 
lection of  being  told  by  some  of  the  family,  many,  many  years 
ago,  that  General  Wolfe  was  their  relation,  and  the  circum- 
stance of  his  picture  being  in  their  possession  corroborates  with 
that  impression.  I  should  not  expect  much  from  his  letters,  but 
very  much  from  your  relation  of  his  brief  and  glorious  career. 

I  suppose,  among  all  your  multifarious  avocations,  poor 
Oliver  Newman  never  gets  a  line  now ;  much  less  Robin  Hood, 
and  other  things  that  I  could  name ;  but  the  wonder  is,  how 
you  get  through  even  half  your  labours — even  the  mere  me- 
chanical part  of  them.  I  have  sometimes  suspected  you  must 
have  a  familiar — not  Mephistopheles — yours  is  a  good  angel. 
I  never  could  form  to  myself  any  idea  of  heaven,  except  that, 
being  a  place  where  sin  and  sorrow  cannot  enter,  it  must  be  one 
of  blessedness  ;  but  as  a  child  I  used  to  long  to  go  to  Paradise, 
my  conception  of  which  I  had  formed  from^a  puppet-show, 


where  Adam  and  Eve  were  sitting  in  a  bower  of  fruit  and 
flowers,  surrounded  with  lambs  and  turtle-doves.  And  in  after 
visions,  later  on  than  becomes  one  whose  mind  should  dwell 
more  upon  serious  truth,  I  have  dreamt  how  well  worth  dyingp 
for  it  would  be,  to  be  appointed  the  invisible  minister  of  good 
to  some  one  we  have  on  earth  cared  dearly  for.  I  suppose 
it  is  hardly  possible  to  live  as  I  do,  so  much  out  of  the  tangible 
world,  without  creating  for  oneself  a  world  of  shadows.  So 
now  you  have  a  letter  from  the  shades  partly,  and  must  excuse 
the  lack  of  sense  and  reason. 

God  bless  you,  my  dear  friend. 



[KESWICK,  October,  1827.] 

You  are  a  good  and  faithful  friend,  dear  Caroline,  ready 
for  any  service,  and  never  sparing  trouble  where  service  may 
be  rendered.  Thank  you  for  both  your  letters  and  their 
inclosures.  The  letter  of  General  Wolfe  which  was  inclosed 
has  been  printed  in  The  Gentleman' }s  Magazine :  it  is  valuable 
for  little  else  than  for  containing  his  opinion  of  Scanderbeg,  of 
whom  he  had  probably  read  in  Knolles's  History  of  the  Otto- 
man Empire,  a  book  which  Johnson  has  praised  highly  (indeed, 
above  its  deserts),  and  which,  on  that  recommendation,  I  pur- 
chased and  read  when  I  was  a  youth  at  Oxford. 

To-day  I  returned  the  proofs  of  the  severest  criticism  which- 
I  have  ever  written.  It  is  upon  Hallam's  Constitutional  His- 
tory, a  book  composed  in  the  worst  temper,  and  upon  the  worst 
principles.  It  contains  even  a  formal  justification  of  the  mur- 
der of  Lord  Straff ord.  I  am  acquainted  with  the  author,  and 
should  therefore  have  abstained  from  this  act  of  justice  upon 


him,  if  he  had  not  called  it  forth  hy  some  remarks  in  his  notes 
upon  The  Book  of  the  Church,  which  take  from  him  all  right 
of  complaint.  You  will  see  that  I  can  be  angry,  not  on  my 
own  score,  because  every  attack  upon  that  Book  only  serves 
to  prove  its  strength ;  but  where  there  is  a  spirit  of  detraction 
and  malevolence  manifested  towards  those  who  are  entitled  to 
respect,  and  gratitude,  and  veneration,  my  blood  stirs  when  I 
see  them  traduced,  and  the  same  feeling  which  brings  tears  into 
my  eyes  when  I  think  of  them  at  other  times  passes  on  such  an 
occasion  into  an  anger  which  I  do  not  account  among  the  emo- 
tions to  be  repented  of. 

One  of  the  first  movements  which  I  shall  undertake  after 
reaching  London  in  May  (if  we  both  live  so  long)  will  be  to 
embark  in  one  of  the  steam-coaches,  which  are  soon  to  travel 
upon  your  road,  and  be  whisked  to  Southampton.  But  I  will 
make  it  my  last  movement  if  you  will  muster  heart  and  hope 
to  travel  northwards,  under  my  care,  and  pass  the  remainder  of 
the  summer  and  autumn  with  us.  Can  you  ?  Will  you  ? 
Nothing  is  more  likely  to  do  you  good  than  this  mountain  air. 

The  verses  which  you  sent  Alaric  Watts  have  been  printed 
in  the  Standard,  with  a  note  (I  suppose  of  his)  saying  upon 
what  occasion  they  were  written.*  I  put  them  into  my  wife's 

*  The  verses  are  those  "To  the  Memory  of  Isabel  Southey"  ("The 
Birthday,"  pp.  187-189).  Caroline  Bowles  writes  (November  21st,  1827) : 
"  Your  letter  was  surely  intended  to  convey  none  but  pleasurable  feelings, 
and  yet  it  has  caused  me  very  acute  pain.  I  have  not  heard  of  Alaric 
Watts  and  his  Souvenir  since  last  spring,  when,  on  his  application,  I  sent 
him  those  unlucky  verses,  which  had  surely  not  been  composed  for  his  book, 
or  any  other.  Having  them  by  me,  however,  I  gave  them  to  him,  entitled 
'  On  the  Death  of  a  Young  Lady,'  under  which  vague  designation  I  felt 
they  could  not  suddenly  shock  you  or  any  of  your  family,  though  I  thought 
you  would,  as  you  read,  adapt  them  to  the  occasion  which  had  called  them 
forth,  and  not  be  painfully  affected  by  them.  So  far,  I  think,  I  was  not 
blameable  ;  but  I  now  feel  that  I  was  extremely  indiscreet  in  mentioning  to 
Mr.  Watts,  in  the  letter  which  inclosed  them,  on  what  occasion  they  were 
written."  Southey  writes  in  reply  (November  26th,  1827):  "I  must  re- 
proach myself,  dear  Caroline,  for  having  led  you,  as  I  perceive  I  have  done, 
into  a  mistake.  The  verses  bore  only  the  general  title  which  you  had  given 
them,  and  the  designation  which  belonged  to  them  was  given  in  a  note  with 



hand,  and  she  expressed  that  sort  of  pleasure  which  deep  grief 
is  capable  of  feeling.  The  pain  would  have  been  there  in  any 
case :  the  gratification  was  so  much  gain.  Thank  you,  dear 
friend — thank  you,  thank  you,  and  Grod  bless  you. 



BUCKLAND,  November  15th,  1827. 

Never  since  you  called  me  "  friend "  has  your  silence  been 
of  such  long  duration,  and  I  am  growing  too  anxious  to  wait  its 
voluntary  termination.  If  I  find  only  want  of  time  and  leisure 
have  prevented  you  from  writing,  I  shall  be  heartily  ashamed 
of  this  importunity,  and  will  promise  to  scold  myself;  but  do 
not  you  be  angry  with  me,  for  indeed  I  am  anxious.  My  last 
to  you  was  a  strange  scrawl,  but  I  had  just  been  half  choked 
with  salt  water,  and  quite  killed  with  fright,  in  my  passage 
across  from  Southampton  to  Hythe.  I  was  thinking  all  the 
way  over,  when  the  waves  gave  me  breathing  time,  "  Now  if 
this  were  to  fetch  Mr.  Southey  from  Southampton  (you  know 
I  took  you  there),  it  would  be  worth  encountering." 

I  will  have  nothing  more  to  do  with  any  Sister  Providences 
you  may  please  to  bring  out  in  future ;  I  was  worse  than  sea- 
sick with  the  last,  and  could  not  even  laugh,  for  shame  at  the 
degradation  of  human  nature. 

a  '  we  believe.'  There  is  nothing  for  which  to  blame  yourself,  and  Alaric 
"Watts  might  very  well  be  excused  even  if  any  shock  had  been  given :  no 
doubt  he  expected  to  gratify  me,  and  had  no  apprehension  of  displeasing 
you.  And,  in  fact,  a  gratification  it  has  proved,  in  a  quarter  where  I  should 
never  have  had  heart  to  have  pointed  out  the  application,  even  if  I  had 
made  it.  So  all  is  well,  and  will  be  better  if  you  will  be  thoroughly  as- 
sured that  I  knoio  you  never  would,  never  will,  never  can,  act  otherwise  than 
wisely,  and  with  perfect  feeling,  wherever  feeling  is  concerned." 


God  bless  you,  my  dear  friend.  If  you  are  too  much  en- 
grossed to  write  to  me,  just  say  so  in  one  line  (no  bull  that !), 
and  that  you  are  well,  and  that  will  content  me,  for  I  am  not 
very,  very,  very  unreasonable. 



KESWICK,  December  21th,  1827. 

Thank  you  for  the  extracts,  both  which  I  shall  be  glad  to 
use.  Wolfe's  correspondence  during  his  last  campaign  with 
Monckton,  who  succeeded  him  in  the  command,  has  been  offered 
me  in  a  roundabout  way  by  the  daughter  of  the  latter;  and 
another  stranger  has  enabled  me,  by  the  testimony  of  one  of 
the  last  survivors  of  his  companions,  to  ascertain  that  Wolfe 
was  not  dying  of  consumption  when  he  was  killed,  which  I  had 
been  led  to  believe. 

The  poems  in  Wordsworth's  volume  concerning  which  you 
inquire  are  written  by  his  sister — a  most  excellent  person  in  all 
respects.  Indeed,  no  man  was  ever  more  fortunate  in  wife, 
sister,  or  sister-in-law,  than  he  has  been.  There  is  no  woman 
out  of  my  own  house  (except  one  whom  I  shall  not  name  to 
you)  with  whom  I  am  so  intimate  as  Miss  Hutchinson,  or  whom 
I  love  altogether  so  well.  One  likes  to  see  hereditary  inti- 
macies, and,  therefore,  I  am  glad  that  Edith  May  has  taken  to 
Dora  Wordsworth  much  more  than  to  any  other  of  her  contem- 
porary friends. 

I  did  not  see  the  lying  account  of  Bilderdijk  in  the  Morning 
Herald.  He  was  no  flatterer  of  Buonaparte.  It  was  his  busi- 
ness once,  as  President  of  the  Royal  Institute,  to  receive  him, 
and  Buonaparte  on  that  occasion  put  this  curious  question  to 
a  person  holding  that  rank :  Etes-vous  connu  dans  la.  republique 
des  lettres  ?  Bilderdijk  looked  at  him,  as  he  could  look  in  those 

K  2 


days,  and  replied,  Au  moins  j'ai  fait  ce  quefai  du  pour  Vetre. 
And  these,  I  believe,  were  the  only  words  that  he  ever  addressed 
to  him  in  any  shape.  Louis  Buonaparte  he  was  attached  to,  as 
all  the  Dutch  were ;  and  he  speaks  of  him  with  great  affection, 
as  a  man  of  excellent  disposition  and  the  best  intentions.  But 
for  Napoleon,  he  ever  considered  him  as  what  he  was — an  un- 
feeling and  short-sighted  tyrant. 

Grod  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  February  2nd,  1828. 

A  little  man,  who  is  travelling  about  the  country  with  some 
black  paper  and  a  pair  of  scissors  as  his  stock-in-trade,  took  the 
profile  of  which  you  have  a  copy  by  Edith  May.  The  artist, 
having  completed  his  education  as  a  surgeon  and  apothecary, 
found  out  accidentally  that  he  could  thus  take  likenesses  by  the 
eye,  and  wisely  enough  resolved  to  try  whether  he  could  not  by 
this  means  raise  the  money  which  he  wanted  for  starting  in  his 
own  profession.  When  he  called  at  this  door  the  girls,  luckily 
for  him,  would  have  him  try  his  skill,  and  this  introduced  him 
into  considerable  employment  here  and  at  Ambleside  ;  charging 
one-and-sixpence  for  a  single  profile,  a  shilling  when  several 
were  taken,  he  took  whole  families  everywhere,  and  very  often 
duplicates  and  triplicates  for  sending  to  a  distance.  I  believe 
he  sells  me  for  sixpence  among  my  neighbours,  and  found  mine 
a 'very  profitable  face  even  at  that  price.  When  Edith  returns 
she  means  to  fill  a  little  book  with  the  profiles  of  this  family 
and  of  the  Eydal  one. 

Lord  Eadnor's  death  makes  me  feel  the  sin  of  procrastina- 
tion, not,  indeed,  in  any  painful  degree,  nor  with  much  cause 
for  self-reproach,  but  yet  with  a  twitch  of  that  kind.  I  in- 
tended in  the  shortest  and  simplest  manner  to  have  dedicated 


my  Colloquies  to  him  gratefully.  That  word  would  have  expressed 
all  that  was  intended,  and  I  am  sorry  the  opportunity  has  been 
lost  of  manifesting  thus  publicly  my  sense  of  what  was  meant 
to  be  a  great  benefit.  As  regards  myself,  the  object  may  be 
equally  attained  by  inscribing  the  book  to  his  Memory,  but  in 
such  things  the  pleasure  that  is  given  is  the  main  motive. 

Murray  has  been  printing  my  History  of  the  War  in  octavo, 
without  giving  me  any  notice  of  his  intentions,  so  that  I  knew 
nothing  of  it  till  the  other  day,  when  I  saw  it  advertised.  It  is 
of  no  other  consequence  than  that  I  should  have  been  glad  to 
have  corrected  a  few  slips  of  the  pen  or  of  the  press.  The  third 
volume,  like  everything  which  I  have  in  hand,  moves  slowly. 
Shame  to  say,  but  so  it  is,  the  older  I  grow,  and  the  more 
clearly  I  see  and  pressingly  feel  the  necessity  of  working  that 
I  may  get  through  what  is  to  be  done  while  the  day  lasts,  the 
more  tardily  I  proceed,  and  the  more  I  am  disposed  to  pause 
and  linger  and  dream  over  what  I  am  about.  And  then  to  make 
ill  worse,  when  I  have  brought  myself  into  the  right  train  of 
thought,  comes  the  time  round  for  periodical  journey-work, 
and  then  matter  of  more  pith  and  moment — prose  and  poetry 
alike — must  be  laid  aside  for  what,  in  the  worldly  meaning  of 
the  words,  is  "  the  one  thing  needful."  A  true  and  sorrowful 
confession ! 

That  I  have  done  much  is  certain,  and  have  the  credit  of 
doing  much,  but  it  is  not  less  certain  that  with  half  the  industry 
which  is  exercised  by  any  lawyer  or  clerk  in  an  office  I  could 
have  done  seven  times  as  much. 

I  am  now  writing  upon  the  Emigration  Report  for  the 
Quarterly  Review,  and  stealing  whiles  of  time  for  the  Colloquies, 
which  are  approaching  to  their  close.  The  first  part  of  the 
intended  reprint  of  my  Essays  Moral  and  Political  reaches 
London  this  day,  and  I  shall  look  in  about  a  week's  time  for 
the  first  proof — proof-sheets  being  among  the  pleasures  of  my 
life.  Now  I  must  make  up  my  despatches,  put  on  my  walking 
shoes,  and  set  out  for  exercise. 

God  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 




BUCEXAND,  February  26,  1828. 

I  only  received  your  letter  yesterday,  but  rest  for  me  there 
will  be  none,  I  find,  till  I  have  said  as  well  as  thought,  "God 
bless  you  for  striking  out  that  sentence  in  the  new  edition  of 
the  Peninsular  War."  *    I  say  no  more,  for  those  three  words 
will  make  you  understand  all  I  feel.     If  this  were  a  world  of 
requital  as  well  as  trial  you  ought  to  be  very  happy,  delighting 
as  you  do  in  making  others  happy.     Indeed  I  heartily  agree 
that  there  are  many  good  people  in  this  world,  and  it  is  my 
fortunate  lot  to  number  many  among  my  own  friends  and  ac- 
quaintances.    These  have  mostly  fallen  to  me  of  late  years.     It 
is  sad  to  tell  that  almost  all  the  best  years  of  my  youth  were 
(from  strange  circumstances)  passed  among  those  who  had  little 
fear  of  (rod  before  their  eyes,  and  it  was  God's  special  mercy 
that  I  never  lost  sight  of  that,  though  compelled  to  associate 
with  those  unprincipled  people,  too  many  of  them  talented  and 
clever  and  most  agreeable,  and  by  that  means  utterly  duping 
my  dear  mother,  who  never  would  think  evil  of  any — till  too- 
late.     A  strange  whirl  of  dissipation  and  danger  of  all  sorts  I 
lived  in,  too  often  drawn  for  a  time  into  the  vortex,  but  always, 
thank  God,  with  a  sense  of  danger — a  something  within  me  that 
was  not  of  the  world  I  lived  in ;  and  it  is  impossible  to  express 
my  happiness  during  about  three  months  in  the  year,  when 
with  my  dear  uncle  at  Calshot  or  in  London.     I  recollect  feel- 
ing when  I  first  got  close  to  him  as  if  I  might  then  throw  off 
all  guard  over  myself,  and  be  as  young  as  my  years,  and  as  con- 
fiding and  thoughtless  as  my  nature.    It  was  like  stepping  from 
a  creaking  plank  across  a  chasm  upon  hard,  firm  ground.     So  I 
have  been  an  arch  deceiver,  and  played  two  very  different  cha- 
racters.    Among  one  set  of  people — the  light,  the  wild,  the 

*  A  sentence  concerning  Caroline  Bowles's  relative,  Sir  Harry  Burrard,, 
in  the  account  of  the  battle  of  Yimeiro. 


unprincipled  votaries  of  pleasure — I  was  comparatively  cold, 
proud,  and  reserved,  and  older  than  my  elders,  and  thought  a 
pattern  of  prudence ;  and  when  with  those  whose  opinion  I 
really  valued,  I  was  the  gayest  and  giddiest  of  the  gay  and 
giddy,  the  promoter  of  all  mischief,  and  the  deepest  in  all 
scrapes.  My  autobiography  would  not  be  unentertaining,  but 
I  will  take  special  care  not  to  favour  the  public  with  it. 

I  have  worked  hard — for  me — for  Blackwood  this  winter, 
urged  on  far  more  pressingly  than  I  liked  or  bargained  for.  As 
for  the  Annuals,  they  must  eventually  run  down  each  other. 
Alaric  Watts  wrote  me  last  week  he  had  sold  11,000  of  the 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  March  18th,  1828. 

I  have  been  kept  from  writing  to  you  by  a  perpetual  inter- 
ruption of  letters  upon  matters  of  all  kinds,  whether  they  con- 
cern me  or  not,  this  being  one  of  the  evil  things  that  publicity 
draws  after  it.  To  me  it  has  brought  a  great  deal  more  good 
than  evil,  and  therefore  I  submit  to  the  drawbacks  with  a  good 
will.  It  would  have  done  this,  if  it  had  done  nothing  more 
than  bringing  me  acquainted  with  you. 

Do  not  give  anything  to  any  of  those  people  who  make 
money  by  raising  Annuals.  1  ought  to  have  given  you  this 
advice  before.  They  prize  most  what  they  pay  for,  and  I  will 
never  give  them  anything  again.  I  will  be  as  mercenary  with 
them  as  if  I  were  a  Jew ;  my  winged  steed  shall  not  be  led  out, 
unless  there  be  money  to  make  her  go.  I  will  even  call  her 
Pegasa,  and  swear  that  she  is  of  the  feminine  gender,  that  the 
proverb  may  be  fulfilled. 


Let  your  circulating  bookseller  send  you  Horace  Hayman^ 
Wilson's  Select  Specimens  of  the  Theatre  of  the  Hindus,  three 
volumes  printed  at  Calcutta,  but  now  on  sale  in  London.  The 
translator,  of  whom  I  know  nothing,  not  even  how  to  thank 
him,  has  sent  me  the  book.  I  have  as  yet  read  only  two  of  the 
seven  dramas  that  it  contains ;  they  seem  to  be  very  well  trans- 
lated, and  the  state  of  manners  and  feelings  which  they  describe 
is  so  unlike  anything  to  which  we  are  accustomed,  that  I  am  sure 
you  will  be  interested  by  them.  It  is  pleasant  also  to  find  that 
there  is  a  sort  of  poetry  which  belongs  not  to  time  or  place,  but 
to  human  nature. 

Let  him  send  you  also  the  first  number  of  the  Foreign 
Review,  not  for  my  paper  upon  the  Dukes  of  Burgundy  (though 
you  will  read  it  and  like  it),  but  for  a>ery  interesting  account*^" 
of  a  crazy  Grerman  poet,  Werner  by  name.  Our  wildest 
geniuses  would  be  tame  in  Germany.  Shelley  should  have— 
been  a  Grerman — happy  if  he  had  been  so  !  He  would  have 
been  whirled  about  there  in  the  vortex  of  speculations  till  he 
was  giddy  and  exhausted.  Actions  which  in  this  country  put 
a  man  into  Bedlam,  or  out  of  society,  seem  to  be  there  in 
the  ordinary  course  of  things.  The  mere  appearance  of  the 
students  whom  I  saw  at  Heidelberg  (I  mean  merely  seeing, 
in  the  streets  and  gardens)  makes  me  understand  this.  I  can 
believe  anything  of  a  people  whose  youth  are  so  trained  up, 
and  should  wonder  at  nothing  that  might  happen  among 

A  plague  on  this  review  for  keeping  me  at  this  time  from 
worthier  employments !  I  am  writing  a  paper  upon  Columbus' s 
voyages,  parts  of  his  own  Journal  and  other  of  his  papers  having 
come  to  light.  Heavy  work  am  I  making  of  it  thus  far,  but 
there  is  something  better  in  prospect  when  I  get  rid  of  the  book 
and  look  at  the  subject  in  its  wider  bearings. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  Caroline ;  I  am  beginning  to  grow  un- 
comfortable at  the  prospect  of  leaving  home,  and  should  be 
utterly  out  of  humour  with  the  journey,  if  it  were  not  for 

*  By  Thomas  Carlyle. 


the  little  time  that  can  be  taken  out  of  it  for  Hampshire. 
Once  more, 

God  bless  you. 




BUCKLAND,  April  3,  1828. 

Thank  you  kindly  for  your  noble  charge  against  giving  to 
the  Annual  beggars.  But  truly  there  is  no  fear  lest  I  should  be 
too  liberal  in  that  way ;  for  you  know,  nobody  knows  me,  and 
that  by-the-bye  I  might  have  observed  to  you  when  you  be- 
spoke my  good  will  for  Allan  Cunningham  if  he  should  apply. 

Alaric  Watts  was  handed  over  to  me  by  Mr.  Bowles,  and 
the  said  Groth  has  hitherto  paid  me  in  sweet  words  quantum  suff. 
and  with  sundry  books,  and  with  his  last  petition  came  certain 
allusions  to  "worthier  remuneration  in  a  pecuniary  sense." 
But  really  if  I  only  give  him  some  four  or  five  stanzas,  what 
can  the  man  pay  for  them,  or  I  accept  conscientiously,  for  you 
know  my  poetic  steed  is  no  "  Pegasa,"  only  a  Peggy  ? 

I  have  been  rather  hasty  in  promising  something  to  his  wife 
also,  but  her  letter  pleased  me,  and  so  did  her  plan  (for  chil- 
dren, just  suiting  my  capacity),  so  I  promised  without  thought 
or  calculation,  to  which  I  am  not  over  prone.  I  should  have 
liked  well  enough  to  have  given  something  to  the  Keepsake,  as  a 
retainer  for  the  very  pretty  book,  but  now  the  Editor  has  secured 
all  you  magnates,  he  would  hardly  give  even  the  volume  for  an 
inferior  contribution,  and  I  am  not  going  to  volunteer.  This 
Annual  mania  cannot  last ;  the  market  must  soon  be  glutted.  I 
think  the  Quarterly  Review  (not  this  last)  might  have  spared 
the  poor  ephemerals ;  the  letter-press  (though  not  the  en- 
gravings) of  Alaric  "Watts  are  decidedly  the  best,  and  they 
crushed  it  with  one  coup  de  grace.  I  felt  peculiarly  flattered  by 


their  condescending  intimation  that  they  were,  however,  "  half 
tempted  to  exclude  from  this  sweeping  condemnation  the  lines 
on  the  death  of  a  child  at  such  a  page,"  meaning  mine.  These 
trifles  seem  to  me  beneath  the  notice  of  the  Quarterly  Review, 
but  when  the  Keepsake  comes  forth  in  its  strength,  with  long 
poems  of  yours  and  Sir  Walter's,  it  may  be  worth  dissecting. 

You  were  unkind  to  grow  "  uncomfortable  at  the  prospect 
of  leaving  home  " — a  home  that  has  you,  and  will  have  you, 
almost  always  and  altogether,  and  which  you  leave  but  for  a 
very  little  while,  of  which  little  my  share  will  be  the  least 
fraction,  and  yet  comprising  the  all  of  pleasure  I  anticipate 
till — but  I  look  no  farther.  However,  I  will  allow  you  to 
grumble  at  the  trouble  of  moving,  for  I  hate  it  too  mortally.  I 
send  you  some  verses  composed  while  I  sat  before  the  glass 
brushing  my  hair  the  other  day.  It  is  very  hard  one  cannot  be 
permitted  to  grow  old  and  ugly  without  one's  very  identity 
being  called  in  question,  which  mine  has  been,  all  owing  to  the 
subject  of  my  verses ;  and  I  never  meet  with  any  person  who 
has  not  seen  me  for  years,  without  being  questioned  (after  a 
few  oblique  glances)  as  to  what  I  have  done  with  my  hair.  The 
other  day  a  very  pretty  young  friend  of  mine  ventured  to  ask 
if  such  and  such  reports  of  what  it  had  been  could  possibly  be 
true,  and  I  promised  to  get  her  a  certificate  signed  by  a  few 
surviving  witnesses  of  its  "long-faded  glories,"  as  Mr.  Moore 
would  say,  which  only  set  the  saucy  damsel  laughing  very  in- 
credulously, and  me  composing  rhymes  in  revenge.  Do  not  you 
also  laugh  when  you  read  them. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend, 





KESWICK,  May  6th,  1828. 

Here,  then,  is  the  month  of  May,  and  it  has  entered  as 
merrily  as  in  the  years  of  old.  I  heard  the  cuckoo  on  Satur- 
day. The  leaves  are  opening,  the  fruit  trees  in  blossom,  the 
birds  in  full  song-,  and  I  looking  on  in  discomfort  to  my  de- 
parture from  this  country,  just  at  the  very  season  in  which  I 
advise  all  travellers  to  visit  it.  The  day  which,  in  my  own 
mind,  is  fixed  for  my  setting  off  is  Monday  the  19th.  By  that 
time  I  trust  I  shall  be  ready  with  work  which  cannot  be  post- 
poned ;  that  which  can,  I  must,  however  inconvenient,  take  with 
me  to  Streatham.  It  will  be  about  the  middle  of  June  before  I 
can  get  to  you.  Three  weeks  between  Streatham  and  London, 
mostly  at  the  former  place.  A  melancholy  visit  it  will  be,  for 
in  the  course  of  nature  there  is  scarcely  a  possibility  that  I 
should  ever  see  my  uncle  again,  and  that  possibility  is  not  to 
be  wished.  I  shall  then  come  to  you,  halting  twenty-four 
hours  on  the  way  with  Chauncey  Townshend,  near  (ruildford. 

I  will  bring  with  me  the  provoking  poem  out  of  which  I 
have  fooled  myself  for  the  Keepsake,  bargaining  for  something 
which  might  run  from  three  to  five  hundred  lines,  and  pro- 
ducing what  has  extended  very  nearly  to  fifteen.  It  would 
have  pleased  you  could  you  have  witnessed  the  extreme  interest 
which  Bertha  and  Kate  and  Cuthbert  have  taken  in  the  pro- 
gress of  this  story.  If  the  latter  heard  me  at  any  time  mouth- 
ing out  a  stanza  in  the  room  over  his  head,  up  he  was  in  an 
instant,  to  ask  how  I  was  going  on,  and  if  he  might  hear  it. 
"  All  for  Love,  or  a  Sinner  well  Saved"  is  the  title,  and  the  devil  ^ 
bears  a  great  part  in  the  business.  It  is  a  legend  from  the  life 
of  St.  Basil,  which  only  required  purifying  to  be  excellently 
adapted  for  this  sort  of  ballad  poem.  Nothing  could  be  more 
gross  than  its  original  character.  This  I  easily  got  rid  of,  and 
have  produced  something  which  I  daresay  you  will  like.  And 


as  very  likely  it  might  have  always  remained  unfinished  if  I 
had  not  bargained  for  it  with  Mr.  Keepsaker,  I  am  by  no 
means  disposed  to  be  out  of  humour  because  of  the  improvi- 
dence of  the  bargain,  especially  as  I  reserve  the  right  of 
printing  it  hereafter. 

D'Israeli  has  this  day  sent  me  a  new  edition  of  his  book  on 
the  Literary  Character,  which  he  has  dedicated  somewhat  at 
length  to  me.  I  learn  from  it  two  things  respecting  Lord 
Byron — that  he  had  thought  of  turning  Turk,  and  regretted 
that  he  had  not  done  so  ;  and  that  he  had  written  and  printed 
a  pamphlet  against  me.  More  of  this  we  may  perhaps  hear 
when  Moore's  life  of  this  worthy  makes  its  appearance.  Moore 
will  have  a  ticklish  task  to  perform  all  through,  and  if  he 
brings  me  in,  which  he  can  hardly  help  doing,  I  may,  per- 
haps, make  him  cry  0,  if  he  does  not  take  care  of  his  p's 
and  q's. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend,  and  farewell  till  you  hear  of  me 
from  London. 




KESWICZ,  July  21th,  1828. 

Here  then  I  am,  thank  Heaven,  dear  Caroline,  once  more 
at  home  and  at  rest.  Our  journey  was  performed  under  the 
most  favourable  circumstances  of  weather,  there  being  neither 
heat,  nor  cold,  nor  rain,  nor  dust  to  incommode  us.  I  was  very 
much  the  better  for  the  air  and  bathing,  and  for  the  perfect 
quiet  which  I  enjoyed  at  Buckland  during  the  only  days  of  my 
whole  absence  on  which  I  can  look  back  with  unmingled  satis- 
faction. The  week  which  ensued  was  one  of  great  fatigue,  but 
I  began  to  rest  when  I  got  into  the  mail  for  Manchester,  and 
to-morrow  I  shall  fairly  have  fallen  again  into  my  old  habits 


and  occupations,  having  at  once  recovered  here,  as  at  Buckland, 
the  most  useful  of  all  habits,  that  of  sleeping  well. 

That  sweet  tale  of  the  friar  and  the  children  would  turn  to 
good  account  in  your  hands.  Perhaps  I  may  have  fallen  into 
the  error  (a  very  easy  one  for  an  omnivorous  reader  like  myself) 
of  attributing  too  much  importance  to  a  full  knowledge  of 
circumstantial  particulars  concerning  any  subject  on  which  I 
am  writing.  Certainly  I  consume  a  very  great  deal  of  time  in 
acquiring  more  information  upon  every  subject  before  me  than 
it  is  possible  to  bring  to  bear  upon  it.  Do  not  you  then  be 
deterred  by  an  apprehension  that  you  have  not  the  means  of 
information  at  hand ;  the  want  of  them  will  not  be  perceived 
if  you  keep  to  the  essentials  of  the  story ;  and  perhaps  I  may 
have  been  seduced  into  overcharging  my  verses  sometimes  with 
allusions  and  indications  of  knowledge  which  not  half-a-dozen 
readers  in  a  generation  will  ever  wholly  understand,  and  not 
half  of  these  would  value  when  they  understood  it.  In  these 
cases  knowledge  may  sometimes  be  a  hindrance,  as  well  as  a 

Murray  talks  of  a  "  Country  Magazine,"  to  be  kept  free 
from  personalities  and  politics,  and  all  matter  that  might  be 
either  offensive  or  injurious.  If  he  bring  it  to  bear  I  may 
write,  perhaps,  more  tales  in  verse  and  more  scraps  in  prose ; 
and  shall  tell  him  and  his  editor,  moreover,  where  they  may 
apply  for  aid  to  one  who  wants  no  other  requisite  than  that  of 
confidence  in  herself. 

Cuthbert  is  delighted  to  hear  of  Mufti,  and  thanks  you  with 
great  pleasure  for  John  Gilpin. 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 




BTJCKLAND,  August  llth,  1828. 

I  was  more  pleased  than  you  can  well  conceive — and  more 
surprised,  too,  at  your  favourable  opinion  of  my  legend.  I 
assure  you  I  feared  it  was  a  very  meagre  jejune  performance. 

What  do  you  think  of  the  conscience  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Watts 
(Alaric  and  Zillah  Madonna)  writing  to  me  for  a  second  cargo 
of  prose  and  verse  for  each  of  their  books  ?  A  proof,  I  think, 
that  they  are  very  hard  run.  He  proposes  payment,  but  in 
such  a  round-about  way,  that  I  cannot  tell  what  to  answer,  for 
I  cannot  value  my  goods.  I  answered  him,  however,  that  I 
should  be  very  well  satisfied  to  receive  whatever  remuneration 
other  scribblers  of  my  calibre  receive  for  contributions  to  his 
Annual.  Was  that  right  ?  I  wish  there  were  literary  agents 
to  sell  for  one  upon  commission.  I  shall  never  manage  these 
affairs  well,  however  important  to  my  finances.  I  returned 
home  from  a  few  days'  visit  to  Southampton  the  day  your  letter 
arrived  here;  and  how  do  you  think  I  treated  that  letter, 
expected  and  wished  for  as  it  was  ?  It  lay  among  half-a-dozen 
others  on  my  table ;  I  caught  up  the  whole  handful,  shuffled 
them  over  in  search  of  one  from  you — no  writing  of  yours  on 
either;  no  franking  hand  known  to  me ;  "  Horace  Twiss"  on 
the  last — "  some  begging  Annual-mongers  again,"  and  away  I 
whisked  the  poor  letter  farther  than  the  end  of  the  table,  just 
as  some  three  or  four-and-thirty  years  ago  I  whisked  away  a 
hideous  doll  that  my  father  brought  me  from  London,  instead 
of  a  pretty  one  which  I  expected.  Luckily  there  was  no  one  to 
see  how  like  a  fool  I  looked,  between  laughing  and  crying, 
when,  on  condescending  to  pick  up  and  open  the  poor  letter 
half-an-hour  after,  I  found  what  it  contained.  If  I  were  to 
live  to  the  age  of  Methuselah,  I  should  always  be  a  child,  I 
fear,  and  a  spoiled  child  too,  in  some  things;  and  it  is  too 
late  now  to  promise  to  "  be  good,  and  never  do  so  any  more." 


I  do  not  mean  you  to  like  me  a  bit  the  worse  for  my  con- 
fession, remember,  or  because  I  cannot  promise  'now  even  to  be 

To-day  I  am  expecting  an  uncle  of  mine  who  has  been 
couched  with  success  after  being  blind  for  seven  years,  during 
which  time  I  have  not  seen  him.  He  will  stay  some  ten 
days  or  a  fortnight  with  me,  and  I  should  greatly  enjoy 
the  visit,  but— "The  Thane  of  Fife  hath  a  wife"— and  she 
comes  too. 

Grod  bless  you,  my  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  September  23rc?,  1828. 

Your  Santarem  poem  has  pleased  every  person  to  whom  I 
have  shown  it  as  much  as  it  pleases  me.  You  have  hit  the 
right  key,  and  have  told  the  story  better  than  I  could  have 
done,  for  you  have  had  a  singleness  of  purport  and  of  feeling ; 
and  I  should  have  lost  that  charm  by  an  intermixture  or  an 
introduction  of  reasoning,  which,  with  whatever  care  it  might 
have  been  managed,  would  have  disturbed  the  reader's  enjoy- 
ment. This  I  am  made  sensible  of  by  perceiving  how  deeply  it 
is  enjoyed  by  these  girls. 

You  will  think  it,  as  I  do,  an  ill  symptom  of  public  opinion 
that  Allan  Cunningham's  publisher  objected  to  my  Cock  and 
Hen*Mpon  the  ground  that  it  would  injure  the  sale  of  the  book 
among  the  Roman  Catholics.  Whether  to  print  it  with  Elee- 
mon  or  not  I  have  not  determined,  and  may  perhaps  be  guided 
by  Murray's  opinion.  It  is  very  much  improved  since  you  saw 
it ;  I  like  it  the  better  for  having  finished  it  at  Buckland.  In 

*  "  The  Pilgrim  to  Compostella." 


its  stead  Allan  has  an  epistle  addressed  to  himself,  in  which 
occasion  is  taken  from  Chantrey's  bust  to  introduce  the  Gallery 
of  my  Portraits.*  I  would  have  this  transcribed  for  you  if  I 
did  not  know  that  you  will  have  the  volume  as  soon  as  it  is 
published.  It  goes  through  about  half  the  collection  of  my 
unlikenesses  in  a  way  which  will  please  you,  and  being  long 
enough  for  the  subject  and  the  place  (filling  up,  in  fact,  all  the 
space  that  Allan  Cunningham  had  left  for  it),  I  broke  it  off 
just  where  it  was  convenient  for  him  and  for  myself  that  I 
should  stop.  Matter  enough  remains  for  a  second  epistle  if 
there  be  occasion  to  write  one,  and  then  I  would  pursue  a 
picture  of  myself,  beginning  thus,  and  left  unfinished  because 
the  poem  broke  off  before  I  had  reached  the  place  where  it 
should  be  introduced  : — 

"  An  open  forehead,  a  strong  brow, 
A  proditorious  eye,  for  no  dislike 
Can  lurk  dissembled  there ;  a  nose,  withal, 
"Which,  tho'  it  passed  the  Rhine  at  Strasburg  Bridge 
Unnoticed,  is  (as,  Allan,  I  am  free 
In  parliamentary  language  to  admit) 
A  noticeable  nose."  f 

And  so  I  may  perhaps  go  on,  when  the  humour  takes  me,  in 
this  sort  of  strain,  giving  the  inner,  as  well  as  the  outer, 

I  borrowed  the  conception  of  this  poem  from  one  of  Bilder- 
dijk's.  I  have,  therefore,  inwoven  a  translation  of  so  much  of 
his  as  could  well  be  introduced,  and  gladly  took  the  opportunity 
of  expressing  my  affection  and  admiration  for  him. 

Dear  Caroline,  Grod  bless  you. 


*  See  Southey's  "  Poetical  Works,"  1845,  pp.  209-212. 
f  These  lines  do  not  appear  in  the  "  Epistle  to  Allan  Cunningham,"  as 



BUCKLAND,  October  2lst,  1828. 

Last  night  I  had  written  the  accompanying  letter.  This 
morning's  post  has  brought  me  your  kind  note.  Pray  do  not 
grudge  it  me  (though  you  would  have  heard  from  me  without), 
for  it  is  a  better  cordial  to  me  than  any  in  the  Materia  Medica, 
and  just  now  I  am  in  special  want  of  one. 

The  owners  of  General  Wolfe's  picture  have  just  been  in 
this  neighbourhood  to  let  their  estate  for  seven  years,  and  re- 
move the  furniture,  along  with  which  the  General  is  gone,  or 
going,  to  Penzance,  in  Cornwall ;  so  if  Murray  thinks  proper  to 
affix  him  to  your  book  he  will  have  to  send  far  for  a  copy.  I 
should  think  a  good  copy  of  this  picture  would  be  really  valu- 
able, for  I  find  from  Mr.  Armstrong  that  the  General  never  sat 
for  any  other,  and  after  his  death  his  mother  begged  and  ob- 
tained a  copy.  Mrs.  Armstrong's  grandmother  (the  wife  of 
General  "Wolfe's  tutor)  destroyed  unread  more  than  500  letters 
of  the  General  to  her  husband  after  the  death  of  the  latter. 
I  wish  they  were  still  extant  and  come-at-able. 

I  saw  in  some  country  papers  of  late  a  notice  of  your  forth- 
coming poem  "  Eleemon,"  that  diverted  me  not  a  little,  and  will, 
undoubtedly,  if  friend  Amelia*  sees  it,  excite  all  her  curiosity. 
It  set  forth  that  you  had  chosen  rather  a  singular  subject  for 
your  poem,  the  dramatis  personce  of  which  were  composed  of  the 
persons  "  called  friends."  No  doubt  the  sapient  advertiser  had 
heard  something  about  fiends,  and  in  his  miscomprehension 
inserted  the  r,  which  makes  such  a  considerable  distance. 

I  have  just  looked  over  friend  Amelia's  book  about  "  detrac- 
tion," and  rose  from  the  sermon  with  the  most  backbiting 
inclination  I  ever  felt  in  my  life.  She  has  certainly  lived  in 
the  most  vulgar  and  wicked  circles  of  society,  for  nowhere  else 
could  she  have  found  such  examples  as  she  treats  her  hearers 

*  Amelia  Opie. 


with.  But  you  will  never  read  the  book,  so  I  am  wasting  my 
valuable  commentary. 

I  wish,  I  wish,  I  wish  you  would  write  something  to  write 
down  ladies'  bazaars,  repositories,  fairs,  charitable  female  con- 
gregations of  all  sorts,  for  you  cannot  think  the  mischief  they 
are  doing  (to  say  nothing  of  their  detestable  exhibiting  charac- 
ter) among  the  class  of  little  toy  shopkeepers  and  poor  women, 
who  really  get  their  bread  by  these  knick-knacks,  the  sale  of 
which  is  now  monopolized  by  the  ladies.  A  friend  of  mine 
went  into  a  shop  in  Burlington  Arcade  lately,  to  purchase  some 
trifle,  and  on  her  remarking  how  little  choice  there  was,  the 
shopkeeper  said  all  those  of  his  class  were  half  ruined  by  "  the 
charitable  ladies,"  who  came  and  bought  the  first  of  every 
pretty  new  invented  toy,  set  to  work  themselves,  and  so  effec- 
tually ruined  the  tradesman's  market.  One  fair  young  girl 
of  rank  said  to  another  acquaintance  of  mine,  pointing  to  a 
young  moustachioed  lancer  who  had  just  turned  from  the  booth, 
where  she  was  selling  her  fancy  wares  :  "  There,"  said  she  ;  "I 
have  just  made  him  pay  me  fifteen  shillings  for  a  pair  of 
garters"  ! !  !  How  should  you  like  to  see  Edith  acting  charity 
in  that  style  ? 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend.  You  have  drawn  this  second 
edition  on  yourself,  but  do  not  regret  it ;  your  note  raised  the 
quicksilver  of  my  spirits  from  near  zero  to  a  degree  or  so 
within  fair.  Thank  your  stars  that  with  you  the  mental  tube 
is  not  filled  with  so  fluctuating  an  element. 



KESWICK,  November  14th,  1828. 

The  two  Souvenirs  of  Alaric  Watts  and  his  wife  arrived  here 
to-day  and  my  young  ones  have  got  possession  of  them,  but  not 


till  I  had  read  your  "  Death  of  the  Mowers,"  and  "  The  Inflex- 
ible." It  is  needless  to  say  how  much  I  like  the  first,  and  the 
second  has  satisfied  me  that  in  comedy  as  well  as  in  tragedy  you 
migh  tbear  away  the  bell  from  all  your  contemporaries.  I  never 
remember  any  dialogues  more  excellently  managed.  The  Goth 
writes  to  me  in  a  pitiable,  querulous,  sore  state  of  mind,  out  of 
heart,  as  it  appears,  with'  his  speculation  in  Souvenirs,  and  out 
of  humour  with  everything  and  everybody.  He  wants  some 
prose  from  me,  and  offers  a  fair  price  for  it ;  but  both  incli- 
nation and  time  are  wanting,  and  so  I  shall  curtly  decline  his 

The  Keepsake  has  kept  back  one  of  my  three  pieces :  they 
are  all  good  for  little — so  little,  that  I  do  not  think  they  are 
worth  sending  to  you:  just  as  much  task- work  as  a  school 
exercise,  and  performed  with  no  better  liking  for  the  occupation. 
The  prints  no  doubt  are  better  than  the  verses,  but  the  book 
has  not  yet  reached  me,  neither  has  Allan  Cunningham's — his 
I  shall  like  you  to  see,  because  my  epistle  will  please  you. 

That  odd  person,  Mrs.  Whitbread,  instead  of  being  here,  as 
you  supposed,  is  on  her  way  to  Switzerland,  called  thither  by 
the  illness  of  her  son,  but  I  conclude  only  to  nurse  him  during 
his  recovery,  for  the  letter  which  announces  her  departure  is 
written  gaily.  She  speaks  of  a  report  that  King's  College  is  to 
draw  me  from  this  place,  and  fix  me  in  London ;  this  I  have 
heard  of  from  no  other  quarter,  and  am  very  sure  that  no  such 
thought  has  ever  entered  the  head  of  any  person  concerned  in 
projecting  the  said  College ;  and  that  if  it  had,  I  should  neither 
be  inclined,  nor  qualified,  to  accept  any  office  that  might  be 
offered  me.  Yet  when  her  letter  put  the  possibility  into  my 
head,  I  had  waking  dreams  half  through  the  night  of  how  easy 
a  distance  it  would  be  from  London  to  Buckland ;  and  were  the 
matter  ever  seriously  to  be  weighed,  that  consideration  would  be 
one  of  the  weightiest  in  the  scale.  I  would  give  a  great  deal 
to  be  near  you. 

November  27. — Thus  much  you  will  see  was  written  a  fort- 
night ago — why  then  has  it  lain  unfinished  till  your  note 
arrived  this  day  ?  Why,  but  because  it  is  one  of  my  besetting 

L  2 


sins  to  be  always  doing  something  else,  instead  of  what  I  ought 
to  do,  and  in  good  truth  wish  to  be  doing ;  something  pressing, 
or  something  preparatory,  or  something  which  I  take  to  be  pre- 
paratory, is  always  elbowing  some  worthier,  and  better,  and 
pleasanter  occupation  aside.  But  my  own  faults  are  not  the 
sole  cause,  for  I  am  disturbed  with  letters  and  with  business, 
touching  me  more  and  less,  and  more  or  less  urgent,  but  all 
troublesome  and  consuming  time. 

I  have  read  Marivaux'  book,  very  French,  but  very  cleverr 
and  everywhere  very  agreeable  except  in  the  odious  story  of 
Lindamere,  which  is  an  abomination  as  well  as  an  impossibility. 
One  gets  in  such  a  book  traits  of  national  manners  and  feelings 
which  are  not  to  be  got  from  any  other  books.  I  felt  in  read- 
ing this  how  much  more  I  relished  it  from  having  been  at 

Neither  Keepsake  nor  Anniversary  have  yet  come  to  me.  I 
have  a  capital  story  to  put  in  verse  for  the  latter  when  the 
humour  takes  me — of  an  Irishman  whose  head  dropt  off  upon 
his  taking  a  false  oath  before  St.  Kiaran,  and  the  saint  took 
him  home  with  him  and  put  his  head  on  again.  Something 
good  may  be  made  of  this  :  think  of  him  walking  with  his  head 
in  his  hand  (like  a  lanthorn)  because  he  could  not  see  his  way 
without  it ! 

My  respects  to  Mufti.  The  Townshends  have  brought  a 
dog  with  them  as  ridiculously  little  as  his  Muftiship  is  formid- 
ably large,  and  this  ridiculous  dog  walks  out  with  them,  as 
Mufti  does  with  you.  I  hope  Eumpelstilzchen  may  not  some 
day  mistake  him  for  something  between  a  rat  and  a  rabbit,  and 
eat  him  accordingly. 

Dear  Caroline,  Grod  bless  you. 




BUCKLAND,  December  22nd,  1828. 

I  had  so  forgotten  "  The  Inflexible,"  and  the  attempt  had 
been  so  unnoticed,  except  in  the  Literary  Gazette,  which  said  it 
was  "  too  long  "  only,  that  really  I  did  not  for  a  minute  recall 
my  own  sketch  to  mind,  when  your  sentence  about  it  struck  my 
eyes ;  but  when  I  did,  your  praise  of  it  pleased  me  not  a  little. 
Such  things  are  rather  entertaining  and  mighty  easy  to  compose, 
but  somehow  all  the  worthies  I  have  ever  written  for  think  fit 
to  discourage  my  comic  vein.  Whenever  I  treat  the  Monster* 
in  that  way  he  thanks  me  for  "  the  admirable  production,"  but 
hints  that  "in  the  pathetic  I  am  super-admirable."  I  sent 
"  Inflexibility  "  to  the  Goth,  and  he  thanked  me  too — "  It 
was  very  clever,  but  unfortunately  he  was  overpowered  with 
contributions  of  that  description  :  would  I  write  him  something 
serious?"  So  you  see  they  will  have  me  "like  Niobe,  all 

Poor  Goth !  do  you  know  he  has  lost  another  child.  So  the 
papers  tell  me,  and  that  accounts  too  well  for  my  not  having 
heard  from  him.  I  wish,  if  you  write  for  any  of  the  Annuals 
(I  would  not  in  your  place),  you  could  have  rummaged  out 
something  for  him,  for  I  fear  the  world  goes  ill  with  him,  and 
if  the  poor,  unhappy  man  will  tread  upon  all  its  prickles  and 
thorns,  when  he  might  avoid  some  by  stepping  aside,  he  is 
much  to  be  pitied.  I  cannot  help  suspecting  he  has  been  run- 
ning headlong  into  a  ruinous  speculation,  and  there  seems  a 
disposition  to  beat  him  down,  which  makes  me  long  to  hold 
him  up. 

I  had  almost  forgotten  to  tell  you  that  George  Bowles,  who 
came  to  see  me  last  week,  told  me  a  gentleman,  who  pretended 
to  speak  from  "  excellent  authority,"  asserted,  at  a  dinner-table 

*  Blackwood. 


of  which  my  cousin  formed  one,  that  Mr.  Southey  had  become  an 
avowed  Methodist,  and  that  his  sectarian  principles  would  soon 
be  made  evident  in  a  forthcoming  poem  called  "  The  Sinner 
well  Saved."  "  The  title  speaks  what  it  is,"  said  the  man  of 
good  authority,  "  but  I  have  seen  it — I  have  had  a  peep  at  the 
publisher's.  Such  a  rant !  "  Can  you  not  fancy  how  demurely 
I  kept  my  countenance  while  this  story  was  telling,  and  my 
cousin  very  seriously  asked  "Is  it  possible ?  "  and  how  de- 
murely still  I  replied,"  "  You  shall  judge  ;  I  am  afraid  there  is 
some  truth  in  it."  And  then  out  came  your  proof-sheets,  and  I 
read,  and  very  soon  the  reverend  gentleman  exclaimed,  and  I 
still  read  on  till  his  wonder  was  lost  in  delight. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend !     Grod  bless  you,  and  all  yours,. 
and  make  the  coming  year  one  of  peace  and  content  to  you. 




CATS'  EDEN,  KESWICK,  January  1st,  1829. 

If  there  were  sky-packets  to  the  other  world,  dear  Caroline,, 
as  perhaps  there  would  have  been  if  Sin  and  Death  had  not 
entered  into  this,  and  may  be  hereafter  when  the  victory  over 
them  shall  be  completed ;  if  there  were  such  packets,  I  would 
not  wish  you  many  happy  returns  of  a  new  year,  for  I  should 
rather  take  counsel  with  you  about  making  a  party,  and  setting 
off  for  one  of  those  lovely  stars  which  one  can  hardly  look  at 
without  fancying  that  in  some  of  them  there  will  be  a  resting- 
place  for  us.  But  things  being  as  they  are,  I  pray  Grod  to  give 
you  better  health,  fewer  vexations,  more  comforts,  and  life  long 
enough  to  enjoy  the  fruits  of  the  reputation  you  deserve,  and 
cannot  fail  to  obtain. 

You  have  sent  me  a  precious  drawing  and  a  pleasant  letter. 
Your  letters  indeed  are  always  pleasant  except  when  they  tell  me 


that  you  have  been  suffering  sickness,  molestation,  or  such  mis- 
hap* as  this  late  one,  which  might  have  been  so  much  more  serious 
in  its  consequences.  I  have  just  been  transcribing  from  one  of 
your  former  letters  a  passage  upon  the  Ladies'  Bazaars  as  a  note 
for  my  Colloquies .  That  book  I  trust  will  reach  you  in  Febru- 
ary, for  I  am  now  near  the  end.  Do  you  know  the  portrait  of 
Sir  T.!  More  as  engraved  among  Houbraken's  heads  ?  Hou- 
braken  was  not  (like  Yertue)  a  faithful  engraver,  and  in  this 
instance  I  am  right  glad  that  he  was  not,  for  this  print  of  his  is 
a  most  excellent  likeness  of  what  my  uncle  was  at  my  age.  I 
have  desired  Murray  to  have  it  copied  for  a  frontispiece,  and, 
instead  of  any  other  dedication,  have  commenced  a  poem  in  re- 
lation to  this  accidental  likeness.  How  the  verses  may  turn  out 
remains  to  be  seen,  but  they  will  come  from  the  right  spring. 
You  will  like  the  intention  I  am  sure. 

To  assist  you  in  the  collection  of  portraits,!  I  must  tell  you 
what  are  attainable  and  what  not.  The  first  was  engraved  in 
the  European  Magazine,  and  is  from  a  picture  by  Edridge.  The 
Landlord  exists  only  as  a  miniature  here  by  poor  Miss  Betham. 
The  Evangelical  is  in  the  New  Monthly  Magazine,  and  the 
French  and  G-erman  copies  are  of  course  not  attainable  in  this 
country.  Sir  Smug  is  poor  Nash's  miniature.  Sir  Smouch 
belongs  to  the  Percy  Anecdotes.  Smouch  the  coiner  is  pub- 
lished for  one  shilling  by  a  fellow  named  Lombard,  in  the 
Strand.  And  the  Minion  is  the  mezzotinto  from  the  villainous 
picture  by  Phillips.  So  you  see  there  are  six  which  are  pro- 
curable— the  two  from  the  Magazines,  the  two  Smouches,  the 
Barber  on  the  card,  and  the  mezzotinto.  We  have  an  inten- 
tion of  making  such  an  illustrated  copy  here. 

The  Keepsake  is  not  yet  arrived.  As  for  my  verses,  you  are 
very  good-natured  to  like  them.  They  are  good  enough  for 
their  place  and  their  company,  I  suppose,  and  as  good  as  could 
be  expected  from  task- work,  for  it  was  just  as  much  task- work 
as  an  exercise  at  school.  There  is  a  poem  of  Wordsworth's  J 

*  The  sinking  of  a  wall  of  her  house.          f  i.e.,  Portraits  of  Southey. 
\  "The  Triad." 


there  which  I  have  not  seen,  but  which  relates  to  his  own 
daughter,  Sara  Coleridge,  and  Edith  May,  for  the  love  of  which 
poem  the  three  aforesaid  damsels  are  looking  eagerly  to  the 
arrival  of  the  volume. 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 




BUCKLAND,  January  22nd,  1829. 

I  cannot  wait  to  write  you  a  "  pleasant  letter  "  ;  you  must 
make  the  best  of  one  from  a  sick  room,  to  which,  though  fast 
recovering,  I  am  still  confined  from  the  effects  of  an  ugly  attack 
in  the  throat,  a  painful  inflammation  terminating  in  an  abscess, 
which  was  so  good  as  to  break  three  days  ago  without  quite 
choking  me ;  and  here  I  am  now  with  only  a  hole  in  my 
throat,  which  is  healing,  and  able  to  talk  with  my  pen  at 
least,  if  not  with  the  living  organ.  The  letter  from  "Cats' 
Eden "  came  before  I  was  taken  ill,  and  many  times  since  I 
thought  of  the  "  sky  packet,"  but  if  it  please  Grod  we  will  have 
some  terrestrial  meetings  yet,  if  but  to  settle  our  celestial 
travelling  plan. 

Of  course  you  have  received  "  The  Book  of  Lords  "  *  before 
this.  I  guessed  at  the  originals  of  The  Triad  sketch,  but  com- 
passionate my  dulness,  and  tell  me  which  is  which.  "  Abomin- 
able stupidity,"  the  young  ladies  will  say,  but  you  need  not 
betray  me  to  them.  I  guess,  but  do  not  feel  sure,  as  I  ought, 
doubtless.  One  (Miss  Wordsworth)  I  am  unacquainted  with,  but 
I  should  have  fancied  no  two  portraits  could  be  more  dissimilar 
in  their  different  styles  of  beauty  than  those  of  Edith  and  her 
cousin.  I  am  angry  with  myself  for  being  at  fault. 

*  i.e.  The  Keepsake,  in  which  there  were  several  noble  authors. 


I  do  not  know  that  head  of  Houbraken's  you  speak  of.  It 
is  a  happy  coincidence  that  it  should  be  characterized  by  the 
resemblance  you  are  going  to  turn  to  such  good  account.  If  I 
dared  wish  away  time,  I  would  wish  for  February  and  the  Book.* 
In  my  happier  days  I  was  but  too  prone  to  long  that  the  hands 
on  the  dial  would  move  faster  than  my  eager  anticipations,  but  I 
was  affectingly  and  awfully  cured  of  the  presumptuous  folly, 
and  never  now,  under  any  circumstances,  dare  I  wish  for  the 
morrow.  It  was  twelve  years  ago  last  week  since  a  well- 
remembered  night,  that  on  parting  with  my  mother  before 
we  went  to  rest,  after  spending  the  evening  merrily  with  our 
large  family,  I  said  to  her  "  Oh,  Mother  !  how  I  wish  this  day 
fortnight  were  come."  "  Do  not  wish  that,"  she  replied  in  a 
tone  that  startled  and  made  me  look  round  at  her  as  I  was 
leaving  the  room,  and  yet  in  my  obstinate  impatience  I  re- 
peated, "  but  I  must  wish  it,  Mother  dear,  and  I  will  wish  it." 
"  You  have'wished  away  your  time,"  she  said,  "  and  a  fortnight 
hence  how  you  may  repent  your  impatience — you  may  have  no 
mother  then."  She  looked  as  I  had  never  seen  her  look  before, 
and  spoke  as  I  had  never  heard  her  speak ;  but  she  was  in  ex- 
cellent health,  and  afterwards,  when  she  saw  how  I  was 
struck  and  affected,  laughed  at  my  superstition,  and  said  she 
did  not  know  why  she  had  spoken  thus — "It  was  without 
thought  or  meaning,"  and  she  seemed  to  forget  it.  That  day 
fortnight  she  was  in  her  grave. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 


Southey's  "  Colloquies." 



KESWICK,  February  15th,  1829. 

I  cannot  express  to  you  with  what  emotions  I  read  your  last 
letter,  nor  will  I  endeavour  to  do  it.  My  heart  also  is  full  of 
recollections  like  yours — "  last  words,  last  looks  " — for  which 
there  is  no  Lethe  in  this  world.  If  there  were,  methinks  I 
would  go  a  long  pilgrimage  to  drink  of  it,  but  not  if  it  were 
to  wash  away  more  than  I  wished  to  part  with. 

My  slow  pen  is  approaching  the  end  of  the  Colloquies,  and 
my  slow  printer  will  soon  have  finished  the  little  volume  of 
verses.*  Turn  over  and  you  will  see  the  dedication.  Forgive 
the  verses  for  being  no  better ;  if  they  had  been  the  best  I  ever 
wrote,  you  could  not  have  been  half  so  well  pleased  in  reading 
as  I  should  have  been  in  writing  them. 

February  22. — These  overleaf  lines  are  the  very  bad  reason 
why  I  have  been  silent  so  long  ;  I  hoped  to  make  them  better. 
Meantime  the  Colloquies  are  finished,  and  the  last  portion  of 
MS.  for  them  goes  up  under  the  cover  in  which  [this]  will  be 

God  bless  you. 


I  have  neither  time  nor  heart  to  say  anything  of  State 
affairs,  but  you  will  of  course  conclude  that  I  do  not  turn  with 
the  wind. 


Could  I  look  forward  to  a  distant  day 
With  hope  of  building  some  elaborate  lay, 
Then  would  I  wait  till  worthier  strains  of  mine 
Might  bear  inscribed  thy  name,  0  Caroline  ; 
For  I  would,  while  my  voice  is  heard  on  earth, 
Bear  witness  to  thy  genius  and  thy  worth. 

*  All  for  Love,  and  The  Pilgrim  to  Compostella. 


But  we  have  both  been  taught  to  feel  with  fear 
How  frail  the  tenure  of  existence  here ; 
What  unforeseen  calamities  prevent, 
Alas  how  oft !  the  best  resolved  intent ; 
And  therefore  this  poor  volume  I  address 
To  thee,  dear  friend,  and  sister  Poetess. 


BTJCKLAND,  February  2Qth,  1829. 

Twenty  years  ago,  if  such  a  letter  and  such  verses  had  been 
received  by  Caroline  Bowles  as  those  which  reached  her  yester- 
day, some  taint  of  youthful  vanity  might  have  been  mingled 
with  her  affectionate  gratitude.  Far  other  feelings  overpowered 
her  yesterday.  A  moment's  surprise — but  a  moment's — for,  I 
was  not  to  learn  that  you  delight  not  to  honour  those  whom  the 
world  honours ;  then  a  sense  of  deep  unworthiness,  a  gush  of 
tears,  and  an  inward  prayer  to  become  more  worthy  of  such 
friendship  as  yours — such  distinction  as  you  have  conferred 
upon  me.  I  commission  your  own  heart  to  reward  you,  and 
tell  you  what  mine  feels,  but  cannot  find  words  to  express.* 

I  tried  to  write  yesterday,  but  could  not  recover  myself 
sufficiently.  A  long  illness  which  was  but  coming  when  I 
last  wrote  to  you,  and  thought  it  going,  scarcely  allows  me  yet 
to  leave  my  bed,  and  that  must  account  for  this  strange  scrawl. 
But  they  tell  me  I  am  much  better,  and  shall  soon  be  tolerably 
well  again,  and  I  feel  I  do  not  care  to  die  while  you  remain  to 
me,  though  I  should  like  just  to  take  precedence. 

*  In  his  next  letter  (March  1st,  1829)  Southey  writes  :— "  You  have 
taken  those  verses  more  to  heart  than  they  deserved,  or  could  have  deserved, 
had  the  execution  been  as  good  as  the  intention.  They  tell  you  nothing 
but  what  you  knew  before  ;  but  they  may  tell  many  persons  what  they  did 
not  know  before — that  there  is  a  certain  Caroline  Bowles  whose  poems  they 
ought  to  send  for  ;  and  if  they  have  this  effect  they  will  be  good  verses,  ac- 
cording to  the  old  saying,  that  '  handsome  is  that  handsome  does.'  " 


Pray,  when  you  write  next,  tell  me  in  so  many  words  how 
you  are.  I  have  had  ugly  fancies  about  you  while  you  were 
silent,  and  because  you  have  never  answered  me  lately  how  you 
were.  I  shall  get  well  much  faster  for  knowing  you  are  well. 

I  want  to  say  a  good  deal,  but  cannot  a  word  more  now,  for 
my  dizzy  eyes  can  hardly  bear  even  this  effort.  Grod  bless  you, 
dear  friend.  I  long  for  the  books. 



KESWICK,  April  9th,  1829. 

"Whether  my  books  reached  you,  or  whether  they  are  pub- 
lished, or  when  the  greatest  of  Murrays  means  to  publish  them, 
I  know  not,  the  greatest  of  Murrays,  who  is  also  the  greatest  of 
Men,  not  having  condescended  for  many  months  to  favour  me 
with  any  communications.  In  the  Literary  Gazette  (which  we 
call  here  the  "  Tom  Noddy,"  to  distinguish  it  from  the  John 
Butt]  is  an  account  of  it  as  "  not  yet  published,"  and  a  very 
Tom-Noddy-like  account  it  is,  giving  as  a  specimen  an  extract 
altogether  unlike  any  other  part  of  the  book,  and  explaining 
Montesinos  to  mean  a  stranger  from  a  distant  country !  And 
these  are  the  critics  upon  whose  good  or  ill  report  the  sale  of  a 
book  among  book  societies  mainly  depends ! 

I  must  tell  you  of  an  odd  incident  in  one  of  our  walks.  In 
a  field  near  Ormathwaite  there  is  a  row  of  old  cherry  trees  of 
great  size,  and  at  the  foot  of  one  of  these  we  found  about  a 
pint-basin-full  of  cherry  stones,  which  had  been  laid  in  by 
some  kind  of  mouse,  I  suppose,  for  his  winter  store,  in  a  hole 
under  the  root.  Every  stone  was  perforated  with  so  small  a 
hole,  that  I  hardly  know  how  the  kernel  could  have  been  got 
out,  but  having  been  thus  hollowed,  they  were  cast  out  from  the 
nest.  We  brought  home  some  of  these  as  curiosities. 


My  house  is  in  discomfort ;  the  painters  are  coming  to  my 
bookcases  in  the  study,  and  every  book  must  be  taken  out.  I 
have,  however,  very  comfortable  quarters  in  a  book-room  on  the 
ground  floor,  fitted  up  since  you  were  here,  and  well  stored. 
Yesterday  I  sent  to  the  press  a  portion  of  the  Peninsular  TTar, 
which  I  long  to  rid  my  hands  of.  I  am  also  getting  on  well  with 
the  Introduction  to  "  John  Jones's  Rhymes,"  and  have  this  even- 
ing to  begin  a  paper  on  Portugal.  Thus  I  go  working  on,  and 
find  days,  weeks,  and  months  passing  faster  than,  considering 
what  there  is  for  me  to  do,  I  could  afford  to  let  them  pass  if  my 
speed  were  to  be  regulated  by  my  conscience.  Some  progress, 
however,  is  always  made  in  one  thing  or  another,  and  though  I 
have  neither  the  ardour,  nor  the  activity,  nor,  perhaps,  the 
industry  which  were  mine  thirty  years  ago,  I  have  no  cause  for 
any  serious  quarrel  with  myself. 

The  eldest  Miss  Charter,  after  a  long  decay,  which  was  not 
supposed  to  be  dangerous  till  a  short  time  before  its  termina- 
tion, has  lately  been  removed  to  a  better  world.  She  was  an 
excellent  woman,  and  Elizabeth  will  feel  the  loss  sorely,  affec- 
tion for  that  sister  having,  I  believe,  occasioned  her  to  decline 
more  than  one  offer  of  marriage.  Dear  Caroline,  these  are  the 
things,  these  virtues  which  are  neither  seen  nor  heard  of  men, 
upon  which  we  may  better  rely  for  deliverance  from  the  evils 
which  threaten  the  nation,  and  which  the  public  (so-called) 
thoroughly  deserves,  than  upon  any  human  wisdom  or  human 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 




BUCKLAKD,  April  28£A,  1829. 

I  will  tell  you  that  I  think  your  cherry-stone  hoarder — your 
mouse,  is  a  bird.  Listen,  why  I  think  so.  You  may  remember, 
or  you  may  not,  that  I  have  a  filbert  walk  in  this  garden.  Last 
year  the  trees  were  very  productive,  and  I  and  some  cousins 
who  were  with  me  watched  them,  anticipating  the  winter  store. 
But  we  were  forestalled.  Day  after  day,  before  quite  fit  for 
picking,  the  filberts  disappeared,  and  one  morning  I  found  two 
separate  piles — one  in  the  fork  of  a  hazel,  another  in  that  of  a 
walnut — of  filbert  shells,  not  much  broken,  but  hollow,  the  kernel 
extracted  mostly  through  a  small  hole ;  some  of  them  were 
cracked,  but  each  heap  was  piled  with  the  hole  downward  into 
a  little  pyramid,  exactly  as  if  a  housekeeper  had  piled  them  for 
dessert.  "  Children  have  been  in  the  garden "  was  the  cry  at 
first.  "  Little  rascals  !  "  said  the  gardener :  he  would  watch 
them.  And  so  he  did ;  and  the  next  day  I  was  summoned  in  all 
haste  to  see  the  thief  at  work,  and  saw  and  heard  him  too — a 
thick-made,  clumsy,  greenish  finch — not  a  green  linnet — who 
carried  the  nuts  one  by  one  in  his  claw  to  an  old  oak-post,  into 
a  convenient  hole  of  which  he  stuck  them  fast,  and  then  struck 
them  with  his  short,  strong  bill,  as  with  a  hammer,  so  loud,  till 
he  had  perforated  the  shell,  and  could  extract  the  kernel  at  his 
ease.  So  far  his  motives  were  plain  enough ;  but  I  wish  any 
ornithologist  would  explain  to  me  why,  after  his  meal  was 
ended,  he  was  at  the  farther  trouble  of  carrying  the  empty 
shells,  and  piling  them,  as  I  have  described,  so  symmetrically 
in  the  fork  of  trees  at  a  considerable  distance.  "There  are 
more  things  in  heaven  and  earth  than  are  dreamt  of  in  our 
philosophy."  Afterwards  I  found  many  more  such  hoards. 
"When  a  mouse  has  been  the  consumer,  one  can  always  dis- 
tinguish the  marks  of  his  nibbling  teeth. 

I  have  just  read  a  little  book  that  charms  me,  that  "  babbles 


of  green  fields  "  to  me  even  in  this  dull  room — The  Journal  of 
a  Naturalist.  I  have  seen  no  book  of  that  sort  so  pleasant 
since  White's  Selborne. 

Good  night,  dear  friend,  for  I  am  writing  to  you  at  night, 
my  hour  of  life. 

29th. — I  expect,  if  I  should  live,  and  ever  be  a  creature  of 
this  world  again,  and  there  is  a  royal  nursery  in  my  time,  to  be 
made  laureate  to  that  same.  Some  time  before  my  illness,  in  an 
evil  hour,  I  sent  a  sonnet  to  a  baby  cousin  of  mine  (Sir  Charles 
Burrard's  first-born),  and  ever  since  not  a  brat  can  be  born,  or 
die,  or  change  its  long  petticoats,  but  the  mammas  send  to  me 
for  verses  on  the  occasion.  This  is  worse  than  the  album  con- 
scription. I  copied  the  rashly- written  lines,  that  you  may  keep 
them  for  your  first  grand-daughter,  and  now  I  will  put  them  in 
this  frank.  It  snows ! 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



BUCKLAND,  May  2nd,  1829. 

Yesterday  and  to-day,  almost  our  first  spring  days,  have  re- 
vived me  so  far  as  to  enable  me  to  get  down  into  the  lower  flower 
garden,  lured  thither  also  by  the  attraction  of  a  new  plaything 
which  was  sent  me  two  days  ago — would  Cuthbert  could  see 
it ! — a  little  horse,  just  three  feet  high,  a  perfect  little  creature, 
mouse-coloured,  with  black  mane,  tail,  and  feet,  and  following 
me  like  a  dog  about  the  garden  and  into  the  house,  where  the 
first  interview  between  him  and  Mufti  was  delightful,  both  eating 
bread  together  at  the  same  time  out  of  my  hand,  with  their  noses 
touching.  When  you  were  last  in  Fairyland  did  you  hear  the 
name  of  Titania's  palfrey  ?  If  you  did,  pray  let  me  know  it, 
that  mine  may  be  so  christened,  and  then  he  shall  have  green 


housings  with  silver  bells.    Oh !  if  he  were  of  the  true  elfin  breed 
how  soon  he  should  set  me  down  at  the  door  of  Greta  Hall. 

My  little  Persian  charge,  now  in  his  sixteenth  year,  though 
not  looking  eleven,  is  going  out  the  end  of  this  month  in  the 
"  Eoxburgh  Castle,"  and  I  send  him  up  to  London  in  about  ten 
days  to  be  fitted  out.  He  has  turned  out  most  happily ;  but  I 
am  fearful  the  poor  fellow  is  now  taken  away  very  prematurely 
from  his  school,  to  be  placed  in  a  mercantile  house  at  Cal- 

Fare  you  well,  dear  friend.  I  leave  you  for  your  Colloquies. 
I  think  my  name  looks  beautifully  in  print.  I  never  liked  it  so 
well  before. 




RESWICK,  May  9th,  1829. 

You  are  right :  the  paper  upon  Dr.  Parr  is  not  mine  (if  it 
had  been,  you  may  be  sure  there  would  have  been  some  allusion, 
which  you  would  perfectly  have  understood,  to  his  portrait) ; 
the  paper  upon  Surtees's  History  of  Durham  is.  In  the  pre- 
ceding number  I  have  a  paper  upon  school  education,  much  the 
worse  for  the  clipping  which  the  editor  bestowed  upon  it,  what 
he  cut  out  being  curious  historical  matter,  only  to  be  met  with 
in  the  course  of  such  out-of-the-way  reading  as  mine. 

You  are  a  good  nursery  laureate,  and  I  might  promise  and 
vow  for  my  grand-children,  if  any  there  should  be,  that  they 
would  very  dutifully  be  pleased  with  your  performances. 

Is  not  your  bird  the  Nuthatch  ?  So  called  from  the  very 
practice  of  carrying  nuts  to  a  tree  or  post,  and  fixing  them 
where  he  can  hammer,  or  hack,  at  them  with  his  bill.  My 
cherry  stones  were  thrown  out  from  a  hole  at  the  root  of  the 
cherry  tree,  certainly  not  the  abode  of  a  bird,  and  I  think  the 


marks  of  teeth  may  be  perceived  on  them.  Your  hoards  are 
quite  inexplicable  upon  any  supposition  of  use  in  them;  but 
why  may  they  not  be  the  bird's  trophies,  which  he  may  take 
pleasure  or  pride  in  erecting,  as  if  to  show  us  that  there  are 
others  of  God's  creatures  as  well  as  ourselves  who  spend  their  time 
in  vanities  ?  Murray  sent  me  The  Naturalist's  Journal,  and  a 
delightful  book  it  is.  White's  Selborne  was  wickedly  reprinted,  -- 
in  the  edition  which  I  possess,  in  a  garbled  state,  omitting 
everything  which)  did  not  relate  to  natural  history.  Now,  one 
charm  of  the  book  was  that  this  good  man  took  an  interest  in 
antiquities,  and  his  book  is  the  most  delightful  specimen  of  the 
interest  and  enjoyment  which  a  good  man  can  find  anywhere 
in  the  country,  if  he  will  but  look  for  them. 

Lockhart  will  not  so  easily  hang  out  the  Liberal  flag  as 
Sir  Walter  has  done.  Sir  Walter  had  cautiously  kept  clear  of 
what  is  called  committing  himself.  Lockhart  has  taken  a  de- 
cided part,  from  a  clear  view,  I  believe,  of  what  was  politically 
right,  though  perhaps  without  any  other  feeling  on  the  subject. 
I  should  be  sorry  to  find  him  going  wrong,  because,  in  spite  of 
strong  prepossessions,  I  am  inclined  to  think  well  of  his  nature, 
and  to  like  the  little  I  have  seen  much  better  than  all  I  had 
heard  or  otherwise  known  had  led  me  to  expect. 

The  change  in  The  Anniversary  you  probably  know  from 
Allan  Cunningham,  as  I  have  done.  There  is  a  ballad  ready 
for  his  first  number,  if  he  chooses  to  have  it,  called  Roprecht  the 
Robber,  a  good  story,  with  which  Cuthbert  and  his  sister  are 
much  amused.  I  have  just  taken  up  another  to  finish  it,  begun 
before  Edith  was  born !  And  indeed  I  want  only  leisure  to 
become  as  prolific  a  ballad- writer  as  I  was  thirty  years  ago. 
The  one  in  hand  is  called  The  Young  Dragon,  so  called  to 
distinguish  the  said  Dragon  from  his  father,  the  Old  one.  I 
like  better  to  play  with  grotesque  subjects  than  to  take  up  any^ 
which  excite  a  serious  abiding  feeling  in  their  progress ;  and 
sometimes  I  am  tempted  to  lay  aside  graver  things  for  such  as 
these  by  the  interest  which  Cuthbert  and  the  girls  take  in  them. 
"  Papa,  have  you  hatched  him  yet  ?"  is  the  question  with  which 
I  am  now  assailed  concerning  The  Young  Dragon,  and  perhaps 



when  you  Lave  read  all  that  is  yet  written  you  will  not  wonder 
that  I  hear  the  question  eagerly  repeated.  [Four  stanzas  are 
here  given.]  Farther  Robert  the  Rhymer  hath  not  proceeded. 
You  will  smile  at  this,  and  hope  that  the  egg  will  neither  be 
addled  nor  over-roasted  in  hatching. 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 



BUCKLAND,  May  Wth,  1829. 

I  have  a  letter  from  a  'womankind'  that  rather  troubles 
me,  a  friend  of  Mr.  Wordsworth's ;  I  think  you  know  something 
of  her,  Miss  Jewsbury.  Said  Miss  Jewsbury  has  been  so  good  as 
to  take  a  fancy  to  "  A  Brook  and  a  little  Star  "  of  my  writing, 
and  "A  Story  of  a  Broken  Heart,"  and  thereupon  she  sends 
me  two  books  of  hers — "  Lays  of  Leisure  Hours,"  and  "  Letters 
to  the  Young,"  and  writes  me  sweet  things  and  fine  things — so 
fine  I  do  not  know  how  to  answer  her,  about  life  and  a  wilder- 
ness, two  Ravens,  and  a  brook  Cherith !  But  I  have  read 
clever  things  of  hers,  and  being  a  friend  of  Mr.  Wordsworth 
she  must  be  good  for  something,  and  I  am  obliged  to  her. 

Do  you  know  anything  of  Le  Bas's  theological  writings  ? 
His  Sermons  are  among  the  very  few  modern  ones  I  can  read 
without  going  to  sleep — graceless  confession !  smacking  too 
much  of  the  original  sin  which  made  me,  when  I  was  a  wee 
thing,  answer  my  father  in  a  manner  which  I  well  remember 
shocked  him  vastly.  He  gave  me  some  fables  (I  forget  what), 
charging  me  to  read  the  morals  ;  "  But  Papa,"  said  I,  "  I  hate 

Certainly  my  bird  is  the  Nuthatch ;  stupid  I  was  not  to  think 
of  that  ingenious  creature.  Strange  doings  are  going  on  in  my 
feathered  world.  Two  pairs  of  blackbirds  have  lived  for  the 


last  two  years  among  the  shrubs  in"  front  of  this  house,  and  till 
lately  held  the  little  territory  very  amicably  in  common.  About 
a  month  ago  one  of  the  cock  birds  disappeared,  and  forthwith, 
instead  of  going  into  mourning  and  retirement,  as  any  decent 
widow  would  have  done,  the  widow  blackbird  intruded  herself 
into  the  other  establishment,  fell  upon  the  legitimate  wife,  half 
picked  her  eyes  out,  and  I  am  afraid  succeeded  in  her  unprin- 
cipled attack  upon  the  surviving  cock's  fidelity,  for  certain  it  is 
there  are  two  nests,  containing  two  families,  upon  two  neigh- 
bouring bushes,  and  his  conjugal  and  paternal  cares  seem 
equally  divided  between  the  rival  zenanas,  though  he  has  by 
no  means  reconciled  the  rival  sultanas,  who  regularly  come  to  a 
pitched  battle  every  time  they  meet,  which  the  black  sultan  seems 
to  contemplate  for  a  time  with  strict  neutrality,  but  if  it  holds 
out  longer  than  his  patience,  he  comes  down  from  his  lime-tree 
perch,  beats  both  ladies  with  most  impartial  execution,  and 
having  sent  each  back  to  her  business  at  home,  celebrates  the 
triumph  of  his  domestic  rule  with  such  a  burst  of  song  as  rings 
through  my  very  bedroom,  from  whence  I  have  taken  notice  of 
these  incongruous  proceedings.  I  am  idle  enough  you  see,  but 
you  cannot  say  I  tell  you  a  story  of  a  cock  and  a  bull.  Now  I 
must  go  and  write  to  my  friend  of  the  Brook  Cherith,  and  I 
must  try  to  write  well  (oh  dear,  oh  deaY ! ),  which  I  never  do  to  you. 

(rod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICE,  May  19th,  1829. 

Your  Chapters*  came  not  from  London,  but  from  Edinburgh. 
What  a  cruel  woman  you  are  to  write  such  chapters  as  some  of 

*  "  Chapters  upon  Churchyards." 
M  2 


them  are !  To  sit  down  deliberately  with  pen  and  ink  for  the 
purpose  of  making  other  people  as  unhappy  as  the  contempla- 
tion of  ideal  suffering  can  make  them !  And  yet  in  this  same 
book  to  show  them  that  when  you  please  you  can  be  the  play- 
fullest  and  pleasantest  of  writers.  Time  was  when  such  a  book 
would  have  made  the  fame  and  the  fortune  of  its  authoress. 

Your  new  correspondent  is  the  daughter  of  a  person  in  the 
iron  trade,  at  Manchester  I  believe.  Her  mother  died  when 
she  was  young,  and  the  care  of  bringing  up  younger  brothers 
and  sisters  devolved  upon  her.  A  long  illness  broke  the  cheer- 
fulness of  her  disposition,  and  has,  I  understand,  thrown  her 
into  a  gloomy  sort  of  religious  feeling,  which  makes  her  repent 
of  her  former  publications.  The  Wordsworths  know  her  and 
like  her ;  indeed  she  is  to  visit  them  about  this  time.  I  never 
saw  her.  She  was  bred  up,  I  suspect,  among  persons  who  hold 
me  in  no  good  liking,  from  political  or  sectarian  prejudices, 
and,  like  many  young  writers,  upon  commencing  her  career  she 
thought  me  a  very  proper  object  of  attack.  The  Wordsworths 
were  unlucky  enough  to  bring  this  to  my  knowledge,  for  other- 
wise I  should  never  have  heard  of  it.  They  sent  over  the  book 
in  which  this  little  piece  of  indiscretion  was  contained  for  my 
inspection,  in  the  hope  that  I  would  say  something  civil  of  it  in 
the  Quarterly  Review.  I  wrote  back  word  that  the  only  kindness 
I  could  show  to  a  young  lady  who  in  what  she  had  said  of  me 
had  shown  as  little  sense  of  modesty  as  of  truth,  would  be  to  say 
nothing  of  her.  There  of  course  ended  my  resentment,  which 
was  quite  as  much  as  the  offence  deserved.  What  I  said  would 
not  be  repeated  to  her,  and  I  daresay  she  finds  it  now  much 
more  difficult  to  excuse  herself  than  I  do  to  excuse  her.  Do 
you  know  my  ballad  of  "Old  Christoval's  Advice,  and  the 
reason  why  he  gave  it "  ?  Perhaps  not,  as  it  is  not  among  my 
poems,  but  'in  the  two- volume  edition  of  my  "  Letters  from 
Spain  and  Portugal."  'Tis  a  good  wholesome  story,  the  appli- 
cation of  which  I  often  make  to  myself. 

Wednesday,  2  o'clock.* — All  in  confusion  and  discomfort ; 
trunks  open,  linen  in  one  place,  coats,  waistcoats,  and  innomi- 

*  Before  starting  for  the  Isle  of  Man  by  way  of  "Whitehaven. 


nables  in  another,  shoes,  boots,  caps,  gowns,  bonnets,  books,  and 
all  the  etceteras  of  preparation  for  such  a  family  movement ; 
my  Governess  miserably  unwell,  and  the  worse  for  the  bustle 
and  the  intended  expedition,  which  is  mainly  intended  for  her 
good ;  Bertha  with  a  bad  cold,  and  a  stomach  which  is  never 
well ;  Edith  white  as  a  lily ;  Kate  quite  contented,  and  now, 
thank  God,  in  comfortable  health.  Cuthbert  happy  as  he  can 
be,  and  I  myself  in  a  state  of  resignation  to  the  discomforts 
before  me,  consisting  of  separation  from  my  books,  my  business, 
and  my  old  shoes.  Just  finished  a  paper  for  the  Quarterly 
Review,  and  made  up  the  packet  which  is  to  convey  the  latter 
half  and  the  proofs  of  the  first  half  to  Lockhart.  To-morrow  at 
eleven  we  start,  and  my  next,  I  trust,  will  be  from  the  Isle  of 

God  bless  you, 



BUCKLAKD,  June  8th,  1829. 

That  dedication  of  yours  (it  must  be  that]  has  opened  to  my 
merits,  genius,  and  so-forth,  eyes  many  that  would  never  other- 
wise have  honoured  me  with  a  glance ;  and  I  have  been  particu- 
larly charmed  with  the  originality  of  one  kind  unknown  friend, 
who  writing  of  me  as  the  authoress  of  Chapters  on  Churchyards, 
in  a  paper  called  The  Spectator,  after  calling  me  an  ornament 
to  my  sex,  and  so  on,  finishes  by  remarking,  with  infinite 
naivete,  "  Why  have  we  never  read  Ellen  Fitzarthur,  The 
Widow's  Tale,  &e.,  &c.  ?  "  Is  not  that  good  ?  I  have  had  one 
letter  that  charms  me,  however,  from  the  real  kindliness  of 
spirit  and  good- will  towards  me  that  characterises  its  otherwise 
beautiful  style.  Moreover,  it  is  from  a  person  who  I  am  ready 


to  believe  is  sincere  in  her  praise  of  what  she  has  read  of  mine, 
because  I  believe  in  sympathy,  and  for  some  years  I  have 
always  looked  out  with  more  than  common  interest  for  the 
beautiful  little  poems  of  Mary  Howitt  (of  William  and  Mary). 
Probably  you  [may  know  something  of  these  Quaker  Poets  ;  I 
take  to  them  mightily.  Not  so  to  Bernard  JBarton,  and  yet 
I  can  hardly  tell  why. I  cannot  take  to  him  :  I  have  dreamt,  I 
believe,  that  he  is  a  sort  of  priggish  Quaker,  and  I  hate  his 
straight-haired  effigy — a  reasonable  reason! 

If  ifc  were  not  for  bringing  a  scandal  upon  my  habitation, 
I  could  tell  tales  of  my  favourite  pigeons,  evincing  as  profligate 
disregard  of  propriety  as  the  blackbirds  have  shown,  and  utterly 
confuting  the  old  comparative  saying  "  As  constant  as  a  Turtle." 
I  have  a  pigeon  called  "  Blue  Tom,"  who,  with  Grizzle  his  wife, 
was  for  some  time  sole  occupant  of  my  little  dove-cot,  of  which, 
though  two  other  pairs  have  since  been  added  to  the  inhabitants, 
he  has  always  kept  mastery.  But  for  more  than  a  twelvemonth 
he  and  Grizzle  dwelt  alone  there,  patterns  of  connubial  happi- 
ness and  decorum,  so  long  as  the  lady  could  take  her  pastime 
abroad  with  her  lord  and  master  and  make  herself  agreeable. 
But  the  cares  of  a  family  came  on ;  she  very  properly  stuck 
close  to  her  eggs,  and  when  she  came  out  to  shake  herself  Blue 
Tom  occasionally  took  his  turn  of  sitting.  But  then  I  suppose 
he  considered  his  duty  ended,  and  on  the  second  morning  of 
Grizzle's  seclusion  he  flew  away  to  Lymington,  his  first  flight 
there ;  seduced  a  dirty  yellow  hen  pigeon  from  perhaps  a  dis- 
consolate mate,  and  brought  her  home  in  triumph,  assigning  her 
no  better  lodging  here,  however,  than  the  eaves  of  the  house, 
and  never  taking  any  notice  of  her  when  his  old  wife  came  out 
of  doors,  though  at  other  times  he  brought  her  to  feed  at  the 
window  where  I  throw  food  to  them,  and  flew  about  the  garden 
and  fields  with  her  on  the  most  social  terms.  The  most  wicked 
part  of  the  business  was  to  follow;  when  the  young  pigeons 
were  hatched  and  thriving,  and  their  mamma  able  to  leave  her 
nursery,  Blue  Tom  half  murdered  the  yellow  unfortunate,  and 
he  and  Grizzle  united  forces  to  drive  her  fairly  off  the  premises  ; 
no  easy  matter,  as  I  suppose  she  was  outlawed  at  home,  and 


could  hardly  hope  for  even  a  separate  maintenance.  So  much  for 
Turtle-dove  constancy  !  But  what  a  strange  anomaly !  was  it 
not  ?  I  am  afraid  there  must  be  something  morally  deteriorat- 
ing in  the  air  of  this  place.  At  last  I  settled  two  more  pairs  in 
the  dove-cot,  and  ever  since  Blue  Tom  has  passed  his  widowed 
hours  very  contentedly  in  their  society  without  fetching  home 
an  extra  partner.  I  think  I  shall  send  this  anecdote  to  Col- 
burn  for  his  new  journal  of  scandal.* 

I  thought  I  had  not  a  word  to  say  when  I  took  up  my  pen 
(lifted  it  up,  as  a  correspondent  of  mine  used  to  express  herself) , 
but  I  find  nonsense  flows  in  naturally,  and  the  only  difficulty  is 
to  stop  the  torrent.  Tell  me  how  your  hay  fever  goes  on,  or 
goes  off  I  hope.  I  have  never  heard  anything  of  Allan  Cun- 
ningham since  he  sent  me  his  Anniversary — and  so  much  the 
better  :  at  present  I  am  incapable  of  writing  anything,  and  have 
refused  the  Halls  and  some  other  people.  The  slightest  mental 
excitement  brings  on  the  terrible  beating  of  that  vile  heart  of 
mine,  which  is  never  quite  still  now,  and  once  set  a-going  seems 
running  a  race  against  time ;  and  its  pace  is  audible  to  other 
ears  than  those  of  my  nervous  fancy. 

*  A  passage  from  another  letter  pleasantly  illustrates  the  interest  which 
Caroline  Bowles  took  in  our  foster  brothers 

"  Of  that  folk  in  fur  or  feather 
Who  with  men  together 
Breast  the  wind  and  weather." 

"  The  other  day  my  attention  was  attracted  for  some  time  to  a  curious 
scene  of  dumb  show  performance,  the  actors  of  which  were  a  Robin  redbreast 
and  a  mole.  The  miner  was  invisible,  but  his  operations  were  stupendous 
and  their  effect  marvellously  rapid  and  obvious  in  the  soft  earth-bank  he 
was  excavating ;  beside  which  stood  the  Robin  in  profound  contemplation,  just 
hopping  on  a  step  or  two  as  the  ridge  of  black  mould  heaved  and  lengthened, 
now  and  then  swelling  into  hillocks  in  its  progress.  Robin  I  suppose  was 
watching  for  wjorms,  but  the  engineer  below  did  not  throw  up  any,  and  the 
bird's  attention  seemed  so  philosophically  profound  that  I  made  no  doubt  he 
was  taking  notes  of  the  mimic  earthquake,  and  would  go  home  and  write 
just  such  a  letter  about  it  as  Pliny's  the  younger.  You  shall  see  it  if  it 
is  addressed  to  me  :  and  I  am  a  very  popular  person  among  dumb  creatures 
of  all  sorts,  so  Rob  may  honour  me  with  his  confidence." 


God  bless  you,  dear  friend ;  the  mechanism  of  the  heart  will 
run  down  at  last  and  be  still  enough,  but  that  of  the  mind  will 
not,  so  I  shall  never  bid  you  farewell. 



BTJCKLAND,  July  12th,  1829. 

I  have  for  a  considerable  time  been  totally  incapable  of 
writing  anything,  except  now  and  then  an  idle  verse  or  two. 
Very  possibly  I  may  never  be  able  to  do  more,  and  no  matter ; 
but  if  I  should,  perhaps  I  might  ask  you  to  indulge  me  by  the 
accomplishment  of  a  wish  you  first  suggested  to  me.  Assuredly 
I  should  never  eke  have  had  the  boldness  to  conceive  it.  You 
commended  my  versification  of  the  Santarem  legend.  If  ever  I 
could  succeed  as  much  to  your  satisfaction  in  one  or  two  other 
little  poems,  would  you  of  your  abundance  contribute  two  or 
three,  and  so  make  up  a  little  volume  with  me  ?  I  ask  with- 
out further  circumlocution,  because  I  feel — I  think,  at  least — 
you  can  appreciate  my  motive — no  vain  or  worldly  one,  God 
knows.  Your  plan  was  a  far  more  tempting  one,  inasmuch  as 
I  would  much  rather  have  worked  upon  the  same  structure  with 
you,  though  only  on  its  most  insignificant  parts ;  but  then  I 
tried,  and  was  found  wanting,  which  proof  of  my  incapacity 
pained  me  only  so  far  as  it  dispelled  the  pleasant  vision  you 
had  conjured  up,  and  I  took  that  dispersion  more  to  heart  than 
you,  who  have  so  many  objects  of  dear  interest,  can  well  con- 
ceive. Lately  this  less  ambitious  vision  has  haunted  me :  you 
have  only  to  wave  your  hand,  and  it  is  gone. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  If  my  proposal  appears  to  you 
an  indiscreet  or  presumptuous  one,  try  to  forget  it ;  it  is  but  a 
dream,  like  my  life.  But  do  not  forget  me. 



In  a  letter  of  July  16th,  1829,  Southey  writes :— "  I  will 
rather  send  a  few  lines,  dear  Caroline,  than  let  a  post  go  by 
without  telling  you  that  the  wish  which  you  have  expressed 
has  been  more  than  once  at  the  top  of  my  pen,  and  would  very 
soon  have  found  its  way  to  paper.  I  shall  dearly  like  it  in 
effect.  So  go  you  to  work.  Moreover,  please  you  not  to  con- 
sider the  original  scheme*  as  abandoned,  but  only  as  in  abey- 
ance, till  you  will  let  me  bring  you  to  pass  a  summer  and 
autumn  here." 



BUCKLAND,  July  QQth,  1829. 

It  is  not  in  your  nature  to  give  pleasure  by  halves.  You 
might  have  granted  my  request,  and  yet  have  left  me  unsatis- 
fied (dissatisfied  with  myself,  that  is) ;  but  you  persuade  me 
you  have  pleasure  in  granting  it,  so  the  ratified  covenant  is 
delightful  to  me,  visionary  as  its  fulfilment  may  long  remain. 

"Queen  Mary's  Christening"  is,  I  suppose,  the  ballad  you 
spoke  of  in  your  former  letter,  as  one  you  had  designed  for 
Allan  Cunningham's  share  of  "The  Three  Chapters."  The 
title  sounds  well,  and  a  title  is  everything,  Mr.  Colburn  says. 
You  might  be  sure  I  should  like  that  half-sportive,  half-serious 
prelude  which  brought  the  family  group  at  Greta  Hall  so 
distinctly  before  me,  and  you  know  I  can  laugh  with  those  that 
laugh,  as  well  as  weep  with  those  that  weep.  Full  sure  am  I 
it  is  wisdom's  part,  and  religion's  too,  to  make  the  most  of  every 
sunbeam  that  brightens  this  chequered  valley  of  our  life — more 
especially  those  that  gild  its  decline — assurances  of  a  more 
cloudless  morrow  ;  and  as  to  compromising  the  dignity  of  learn- 
ing and  graver  years,  I  can  only  say  you  may  venture  to  be 

*  ''Robin  Hood." 


sportive,  though  dulness  and  mediocrity  cannot  afford  it.  So  I 
will  be  your  abettor  in  all  trespasses  on  formal  gravity,  provided 
you  treat  me  now  and  then  with  a  strain  such  as  my  soul  loves 
— serious,  not  sad,  full  of  human  feeling  and  heavenly  hope. 

Oh !  for  a  little  summer.  I  long  for  it  as  for  life ;  so 
reviving  is  it  to  me  to  bask  in  the  sun  and  live  in  the  open  air. 
For  the  first  time  in  my  life  I  have  quarrelled  with  trees,  green 
trees,  for  being  shut  in  weeks  together  by  the  perpetual  floods 
and  storms,  almost  unable  to  employ  myself  all  day,  and  with 
nothing  to  look  at  but  trees,  that  you  know  surround  the  house, 
and  now  press  close  upon  the  front  windows.  The  perpetual 
mopping  and  mowing  of  an  old  acacia,  top  heavy  with  rain,  has 
so  worried  me  by  day,  and  haunted  me  by  night,  that  I  could 
fancy  it  my  evil  genius. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  August  llth,  1829. 

I  shall  draw  some  tears  from  your  eyes,  dear  Caroline,  by 
the  history  of  a  young  American  poetess*  which  I   am  just 
finishing  for  the  next  Quarterly  Review,  and  have,  indeed,  this 
moment  broken  off,  that  I  may  not  longer  delay  writing  to 
you.     You  are  a  cruel  writer,  for  you  imagine  tales  which  I,— 
with  all  my  love  for  the  writer,  and  with  all  my  admiration  for 
the  passages  that  catch  my  eye,  cannot  bear  to  read,  though 
thirty  years  ago  I  should  have  devoured  them.     In  my  future— 
fiction  I  will  make  everybody  happy  as  far  as  I  can,  for  the  sake—- 
of making  myself  so  while  I  write,  and  will  tell  no  sad  stories^- 
unless  they  are  true  ones,  as  this  is.     She  was  a  beautiful  crea- 
ture, who  died  at  the  age  of  seventeen,  the  victim  of  over-excite- 

*  Lucretia  Davidson. 


ment,  like  Kirke  White — a  name  which  I  think  of  with  as- 
much  gratitude  as  his  relations  feel  towards  me,  because,  had 
it  not  been  for  him,  you  and  I  should,  in  all  likelihood,  never 
have  known  each  other  in  this  world. 

You  will  soon  hear  a  great  deal  of  the  Co-operation  Societies. 
Grooch  has  written  a  paper  upon  them,  which  Lockhart  (a  little 
to  Grooch' s  surprise  and  mine)  has  printed  for  the  next  Quar- 
terly. Both  Gooch  and  Eickman  and  I  see  in  its  full  extent 
the  great,  palpable,  and  immediate  benefit  which  these  societies 
must  confer  upon  those  who  engage  in  them.  They  are 
spreading  marvellously  fast:  no  experiment  in  society  ever 
spread  so  fast ;  and  none,  I  expect,  will  ever  have  gone  so  far. 
The  difficulty  will  be,  where  to  stop,  for  some  of  them  already 
proclaim  that  they  aim  at  a  community  in  lands  and  goods. 
Now,  I  am  more  than  willing  to  see  small  communities  formed 
upon  this  principle ;  but  I  do  not  like  to  think  of  its  being 
brought,  like  a  steam-boiler,  into  the  midst  of  our  crowded 
society,  and  bursting  there.  The  levelling  principle,  if  carried 
to  its  full  extent,  must  level  everything.  Now,  I  want  to 
away  the  circle  of  inequality  and  its  iniquity,  which  consists  in 
its  excess,  yet  at  the  same  time  to  preserve  the  gradations  of 
society,  and  our  institutions  which  are  founded  upon  them. 

I  have  begun  in  hexameters  the  story  of  a  shipwreck  for  our 
volumes — thus : — 

Hear  in  Homeric  verse  the  pitiful  tale  of  a  shipwreck 
Which,  in  the  Mexican  Gulf,  the  Licentiate  lAonso  Zuazo 
Suffered,  long  ago.     I  found  the  story  in  Spanish, 
Told  in  that  nohle  tongue  by  old  Oviedo  of  Yaldez, 
"Who  from  Zuazo  himself  received  the  faithful  relation.* 

This  is  the  beginning.  Some  fifty  more  lines  are  written,, 
which  bring  me  to  the  shipwreck,  and  I  suppose  the  whole  will 
extend  from  500  to  1000  lines. 

Dear  friend,  Gtod  bless  you. 


*  The  passage  goes  on  to  the  fourteenth  line  of  the  fragment,  as  printed 
in  Robin  Hood,  $c. 



,  September  8th,  1829. 

The  Bishop  of  Chester,  Bird  Sumner,  is  a  far  more  able 
man  than  Charles  Sumner,  our  bishop.  I  believe,  in  my  con- 
science, both  are  sincere  men,  however  warped  in  some  of  their 
religious  and  political  views.  But  both  undoubtedly  favour 
sectarian  principles,  though  our  bishop  has  just  expressed  him- 
self strongly  in  his  charge  against  the  desertion  of  the  Church 
for  the  Meeting-house.  But  thus  that  peculiar  party  in  the 
Church  to  which  the  name  of  Evangelical  is  nov  so  improperly 
applied  as  the  designation  of  a  sect,  instead  of  that  of  the 
Church  of  Christ,  does  little  less  than  convert  the  church  into  a 
meeting-house,  whenever  one  of  their  ministers  gets  possession 
of  a  pulpit,  and  to  this  party  both  the  Sumners  have  ever 
belonged,  and  are  now,  of  course,  its  strenuous  favourers,  with 
immense  influence,  since  their  accession  to  so  great  ecclesiastical 
dignity.  If  I  had  not  lived  in  a  land  of  sectarians  —  if  I  had 
not,  from  family  and  other  connexions  among  them,  seen,  and 
heard,  and  known  so  much  of  all  they  do,  and  all  they  aim  at, 
so  subversive  of  our  present  religious  constitution,  I  should  enter 
with  untempered  enthusiasm  into  the  scheme  of  the  Church 
Methodists;  but  now  I  find  it  hard  to  believe  that  such  an 
establishment  will  not  be  made  conducive  to  their  own  peculiar 
views  by  men  as  ingenious  (and  in  some  instances  as  unscrupu- 
lous) as  the  Jesuits  in  promoting  them.  The  theory  is  admi- 
rable. Nobody  could  be  more  taken  with  it  than  I  was  ;  nobody 
can  be  more  anxious  that  a  safe  and  stable  fabric  may  be  built 
upon  it,  sustained  by  "  zeal  without  innovation,"  without  in- 
sidious views  towards  the  subversion  of  our  present  Church 
establishment.  But  I  hope  with  fear,  and  with  regard  to  the 
Co-operation  Societies,  fear  is  uppermost  in  my  mind.  Do  not 
"  contempt"  the  weakness.  I  know  that  no  great  good  will 
ever  be  attained  by  those  who  will  risk  no  possible  evil,  and 


that  some  evil  must  intermingle  with  the  most  perfect  human 
system.  But  in  the  times  we  live  in,  when  everything  seems 
unsound,  undermined,  tending  portentously  towards  great  and 
awful  change,  especially  towards  anarchical  subversion  of  rank 
and  order,  and  all  old  things  (some,  doubtless,  may  be  well 
spared  from  among  us),  I  tremble  to  think  of  what  may  be  the 
still  accelerating  force  of  an  engine,  set  off  with  so  powerful  an 
impetus,  without  a  drag-chain  to  the  wheels.  You  say  they 
"  already  aim  at  a  community  of  lands  and  goods";  they  have 
little  more  to  aim  at.  Eemove  those  old  landmarks,  and  all  the 
enclosures  and  high  places  of  society  must  be  levelled  and  laid 
open  to  the  equalizing  rabble,  and  then  God  help  us  ! 

Ever  since  the  publication  of  the  Colloquies  I  have  been 
looking  out  for  some  sign  that  your  cunning  lure  had  taken 
with  Friend  Amelia,  and  that  her  superabundant  energies  will 
for  some  time  at  least  flow  in  the  channel — and  a  very  good 
channel  too — to  which  you  have  directed  them.  But,  dear 
friend  of  mine,  having  thus  taken  upon  yourself  in  some  sort, 
like  St.  Vincent  de  Paul,  the  directorship  of  female  energies, 
for  Heaven's  sake  hold  the  reins  tight ;  keep  a  sharp  curb  upon 
them ;  suffer  them  not  to  strike  out  right  and  left ;  and,  above 
all,  exclude  from  your  new  order  all  candidates  under  forty  at 
least.  If  our  ladies  will  faithfully  take  pattern  by  the  admirable 
Flemish  and  French  institutions,  such  an  establishment  as  may 
owe  its  existence  to  your  delightful  pen  (which  would  infallibly 
have  made  me  a  Beguine,  or  a  Sceur  de  la  Charite,  if  I  was  not 
a  most  ungregarious  animal)  must  and  will  be  an  inestimable 
benefit  to  this  country.  But  'ware  missionary  zeal  in  this 
case  too  ! — the  co-operation  of  "  tract- trotting  misses"  and  the 
precious  ministers  they  "  sit  under."  Of  late  years  a  Magdalen 
Hospital  has  been  established  by  persons  of  the  above  denomi- 
nation at  Southampton,  where  ladies  of  all  ages,  but  mostly 
young  ones,  some  very  young,  act  in  concert  with  their  spiritual 
directors,  often  accompanied  by  them  as  visitors,  superinten- 
dents, confessors,  to  the  unfortunate  persons  with  whom  it 
makes  one  shudder  to  think  a  youthful,  uncontaminated  creature 
should  have  a  moment's  contact ;  and  some  of  these  young  con- 


lessors  expatiate  unblushingly  on  the  "  miracles  of  grace"  it  is 
their  good  fortune  to  witness  among  these  regenerated  prose- 
lytes. These  lady-errants  will  be  all  ready  to  swarm  into  an 
hospital  nun  establishment-;  but  keep  them  out  for  Heaven's 
sake.  One  cunning  way  of  excluding  the  young  ones  would  be 
to  prescribe  a  very  unbecoming  uniform.  It  will  still  attract 
elderly  women,  for  the  sake  of  distinction,  which  so  often 
succeeds  that  love  of  dress  which  made  Johnson  (was  it  not  ?) 
designate  us  as  "  animals  delighting  in  finery,"  and  he,  the 
"  cooking  animal,"  was  right  enough. 

For  all  your  threat  of  drawing  tears  from  me,  I  look  eagerly 
for  the  next  Quarterly  Review,  and  your  story  of  the  young 
American  ;  but  truly  I  must  take  leave  to  observe  that,  by  your 
own  confession,  you  are  as  deliberately  cruel  as  I  am.  Do  you 
break  one's  heart  less  with  melancholy  truths  than  if  you  tried 
it  with  mournful  fiction  ?  And  be  it  known  to  you,  that  (ex- 
cept in  the  story  of  Andrew  Cleaves)  I  have  only  been  guilty 
of  working  upon  prepared  canvas.  Circumstances  within  my 
own  knowledge,  or  recollection  of  my  mother's  inexhaustible 
traditionary  store,  supplied  me  with  abundant  materials.  I 
wish  you  joy  of  your  noble  determination  to  make  all  your 
creatures  happy.  I  find  it  much  easier  to  kill  them  out  of  the 
way,  and  then  I  take  special  care,  when  my  work  is  done,  never 
to  read  a  page  of  it. 

"  Our  volumes !  our  volumes ! "  how  pleasantly  that  sounds ! 
and  I  like  well  the  hexameter  opening  of  the  shipwreck ;  but 
when  will  the  time  come  when  I  shall  be  able  to  send  you  some 
beginning  of  mine  ? 

My  wits  are  all  bottled  up  in  the  moon,  I  believe,  or  rather 
they  are  crushed  into  stupor  by  the  load  of  mortality  that 
presses  on  them — no  heavy  burthen,  it  should  seem,  by  specific 
weight  of  flesh  and  blood ;  but  "  the  ills  that  flesh  is  heir  to  "  are 
heavy  makeweights  ;  and  yet  I  am  at  present  something  better 
than  I  have  yet  been  since  January.  Do  not  you  rejoice  in 
these  floods,  and  storms,  and  cruel  cold,  if  it  gives  you  a  respite 
from  company  ?  It  kills  me.  No  heliotrope  ever  turned  sun- 
ward so  wistfully  as  I  do,  and  I  rejoiced  doubly  in  the  bright 


sunshine  of  the  4th,  hoping  it  looked  down  on  Crosthwaite 
Church  and  the  wedding  train  it  was  to  receive  that  day.  Miss 
Coleridge's  maiden  home  must  have  been  a  happy  one.  I 
heartily  wish  her  wedded  one  may  be  not  less  so.  Is  she  to 
reside  henceforth  in  London? 

Farewell,  dear  friend.  I  have  written  a  great  deal  of 
senseless  stuff,  I  suspect.  Would  you  were  near  at  hand  to 
make  me  wiser ;  at  all  events,  make  me  happier ;  for  wisdom 
is  not  my  vocation,  and  I  suspect  happiness  might  have  been. 




KESWICK,  September  llth,  1829. 

You  say  nothing  concerning  the  Beguines,  the  Church 
Methodists,  and  the  Co-operatives  but  what  is  perfectly  sensible 
and  true.  With  regard  to  the  two  former,  hypocrisy  will  in- 
trude in  all  such  things ;  and  with  it  everything  that  is  odious, 
but  among  Beguines  it  has  little  opportunity  of  doing  mischief. 
In  Methodism  I  see  all  the  danger  that  you  apprehend ;  but 
without  assistance  the  Church  Establishment  must  continue  to 
lose  ground.  The  number  of  the  clergy  is  inadequate  to  that 
of  the  people :  any  proportionate  increase  is  not  even  to  be 
dreamt  of  while  our  rulers  both  in  Church  and  State  are  what 
they  are,  and  what  they  are  likely  to  be.  The  clergyman  acts 
everywhere  alone ;  whereas  everg  sectarian  is  as  far  as  he  can  a 
coadjutor  to  his  minister,  a  recruiting,  or  a  drill  sergeant  for  his 
sect.  There  is  undoubtedly  great  danger  in  calling  in  such 
auxiliaries  as  I  have  proposed,  but  ttat  danger  is  diminished 
by  wise  management ;  such  persons  if  not  with  us  would  be 
against  us ;  and  without  aid  it  is  I  think  (looking  at  human 
causes)  impossible  that  the  Establishment  should  keep  its 


ground.  Indeed  it  is  more  than  rumoured  that  there  is  an  in- 
tention of  selling  the  tithes  upon  Mr.  Pitt's  plan.  The  conse- 
quence of  which  would  be  that  the  right  of  the  clergy  to  their 
revenue,  which  now  rests  upon  the  Constitution,  would  then  rest 
upon  an  Act  of  Parliament,  made  in  one  session,  and  liable  of 
course  to  be  repealed  in  any  other.  Their  incomes  would  then 
be  to  be  paid  from  the  funds,  that  is  from  the  taxes ;  and  the 
first  great  reduction  which  would  be  called  for  by  the  Eadicals 
and  willingly  conceded  by  the  Whigs  would  be  that  of  getting 
rid  of  this  charge.  One  proposal  might  be  ^  to  pay  the  clergy 
of  all  denominations,  but  the  end  would  surely  be  that  of 
leaving  our  clergy,  like  those  of  the  dissenters,  to  be  sup- 
ported by  the  free  will  of  their  respective  congregations.  And 
what  the  dissenting  clergy  have  become  in  consequence  of  such 
dependence  you  know;  what  a  sleek,  sycophantic,  supple  race 
the  thriving  ones  among  them  are;  and  in  what  wretched 
dependence  the  poorer  ones  are  held. 

I  have  been  disappointed  of  meeting  Sadler,  who  is  too  busy 
in  preparing  his  book.  But  I  shall  propably  go  to  Lowther  in 
the  course  of  a  few  days,  and  then  to  Eipon.  From  Sadler  I 
have  been  looking  daily  to  hear  in  reply  to  the  inquiries  which 
I  have  made  of  him  concerning  the  Church  Methodists.  I 
suppose  his  Whitby  speech  has  prevented  him  hitherto  from 
answering  me.  That  speech  is  too  rhetorical  for  my  taste, 
though  not  for  its  auditory.  But  in  all  his  views  I  go  with 
him,  except  in  his  opposition  to  emigration,  which  I  am  con- 
vinced must  always  be  our  safety-valve. 

The  Co-operatives  will  better  their  own  condition,  both  mo- 
rally and  physically,  so  greatly,  as  in  my  opinion  and  in  Eick- 
man's  also  (whose  opinion  in  all  such  matters  is  worth  more  than 
that  of  any  other  man  whom  I  have  ever  known)  to  produce  a 
great  reform  among  the  lower  classes,  by  the  example  of  thrift, 
industry,  and  comfort  which  they  will  set.  They  will  make  the 
value  of  good  character  conspicuously  visible.  Mischief  will  be 
intended  by  some  who  take  up  their  cause,  but  in  the  papers 
which  the  Brighton  Society  publish  there  is  nothing  but  what 
is  temperate,  wise,  and  cogent.  And  certainly  I  look  upon  the 


movement  which  has  thus  commenced  as  the  most  important 
that  has  ever  yet  occurred  in  civil  society ;  the  most  important 
and  the  most  hopeful. 

Henry  Taylor  has  been  passing  a  week  with  me,  and  takes  his 
departure  to-day.  The  flight  of  summer  birds  are  off  also,  or 
on  the  wing.  This  evening  I  shall  have  the  rare  enjoyment  of 
a  quiet  evening's  work,  which  will  be  an  enjoyment,  though  I 
am  never  willing  to  part  with  Henry  Taylor,  he  being,  except 
yourself,  the  only  friend  whom  I  have  made  in  later  years.  Our 
volumes  will  fare  the  better  for  the  leisure  which  I  now  begin 
to  promise  myself.  I  am  in  the  vein  of  verse — were  there  but 
time  to  work  it ;  and  rich  mines  there  are  to  work  in. 

Mrs.  Coleridge  is  on  her  way  to  her  son  Derwent,  at  the 
LandVEnd.  A  very  agreeable  woman  (Miss  Trevennion) ,  who  is 
a  very  useful  and  good  friend  to  Derwent,  was  here  at  the  wed- 
ding, and  takes  Mrs.  Coleridge  with  her  in  her  carriage,  which  is 
a  great  God-send  for  so  long  a  journey.  The  new  married  couple* 
are  lodging  in  Keswick  and  taking  their  pleasure.  All  change 
is  painful  to  me :  this,  however,  was  a  desirable  one ;  being  (it  is 
to  be  hoped)  for  the  happiness  of  those  who  are  gone ;  and  to 
the  convenience  of  those  who  are  left.  This  change  gives  us 
room,  which  was  beginning  to  be  wanted :  the  next,  whatever 
that  may  be,  and  whenever  it  may  come,  will  make  a  void. 
Whether  the  next  set-forth  from  the  house  be  for  a  marriage, 
or  a  funeral,  who  can  tell !  Thank  God,  when  I  look  forward, 
it  is  always  to  another  world ;  overlooking  the  whole  of  the 
down-hill  road  before  me. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 


*  Sara  and  Henry  Nelson  Coleridge.  On  November  18th,  Southey  tells 
Caroline  Bowles  how  he  had  accompanied  the  new  married  pair  as  far  as 
Ripon:  "Sara  was  much  affected  at  parting  from  me,  and  I  could  not 
suppress  my  own  feelings  as  I  am  wont  to  do." 



BUCKLAND,  December  1th,  1829. 

Whatever  tricks  your  memory  may  play  you,  by  making 
you  doubt  sometimes  whether  you  have  written  to  me  or  not, 
mine,  though  in  general  a  very  treacherous  ally,  never  leaves 
me  a  minute's  doubt  whether  or  not  I  have  heard  from  you ; 
and  just  as  I  received  your  last  letter,  she  had  been  telling  me 
your  silence  had  lasted  two  whole  months  !  and  at  b-st  you  put 
by  the  Peninsular  War  and  the  Suchet  for  me — unworthy  me. 
Not  so,  however ;  a  few  moments  spared  from  even  important 
avocations  to  a  friend,  and  an  old  friend  (I  claim  the  title  now), 
is  never  time  wasted.  My  old  nurse  used  to  tell  me,  when  we 
deliberated  about  giving  something  that  could  not  well  be 
spared  at  the  time,  "  You'll  never  miss  it  at  last,  my  child." 
I  apply  her  saying  to  the  sacrifice  of  time  you  must  so  often 
make  to  me — "  You  will  never  miss  it  at  last." 

Now  I  must  tell  you  that  I  waited  the  more  patiently  for  a 
letter  from  you  as  I  had  gleaned  tidings  of  you,  and  guessed 
from  them  that  you  were  absent  from  home.  A  lady  wrote  to 
another  lady,  who  wrote  to  a  third,  who  told  it  to  me,  that  she, 
viz.,  lady  the  first,  was  going  to  dine  at  Colonel  Howard's  at 
Levens,  to  meet  the  two  Poets  of  the  Lakes.  Who  could  those 
be,  but  yourself  and  he  of  Bydal  Mount  ?  So  all  is  well,  said  I  to 
myself,  and  waited  with  exemplary  patience.  I  am  to  ask  you, 
Was  not  the  lady  who  "  talked  to  you  of  the  Levetts  "  at  Levens 
a  sort  of  Bridgettina  Botherum  ?  She  intends  to  be  very  azure, 
makes  dead  sets  at  poets,  would  go  twenty  miles  any  day  to  see 
his  poetical  shadow ;  talks  him  dead  if  she  can,  and  certainly 
talks  all  her  friends  to  death  for  six  months  afterwards,  with 
describing  his  characteristics,  personal,  moral  and  intellectual; 
"  his  eyes  in  a  fine  phrensy  rolling,"  his  sublime  abstraction, 
his  half  words,  hums  and  has!  whether  he  took  water  at 
dinner,  or  eat  his  fish  with  a  fork  (for  she  slips  in  at  the  table  by 


the  victim's  elbow  if  she  can) ;  and  if  afterwards  she  can  ensnare 
him  to  commit  himself  in  her  album,  she  would  not  exchange 
her  good  fortune,  for  the  time  being,  with  the  best  lady  in  the 
land,  though  privileged  to  write  herself  Mistress  instead  of 

What  a  pity  your  fair  and  interesting  new  acquaintance 
at  Swinton  was  not  daughter  instead  of  wife  to  the  good  and 
amiable  old  man  you  describe ;  but,  especially  as  he  is  so  rich, 
I  cannot  forgive  her  marrying  him.  Once  in  conversation  with 
some  ladies  on  a  something  similar  circumstance,  I  said  very 
seriously  what  brought  upon  me  such  a  storm  of  outraged 
decorum,  that  I  have  never  dared  think  aloud  on  such  subjects 
again :  I  got  my  rebuke  on  that  of  Lord  Fitzwilliam's  marriage 

with  Lady I  forget  her  name,  but  she  was  past  seventy 

and  he  near  eighty ;  old  friends,  and  nothing  more  natural  or 
rational  methought  than  that  they  should  wish  to  spend  the  rest 
of  their  days  together  ;  "  But  why  need  they  marry  ?  "  was  my 
unlucky  comment  that  scandalized  the  whole  female  coterie, 
which,  by-the-bye,  had  not  been  sparing  of  satirical  remarks 
on  the  poor  old  lord  and  lady. 

Farewell,  dear  friend,  and  God  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  December  18th,  1829. 

Dear  friend,  I  must  not  let  your  letter  remain  a  single  post 
unanswered.  If  you  go  before  me  to  that  world  in  which  I 
trust  we  shall  meet,  not  to  be  separated,  I  will  take  charge  of 
your  papers,  and  make  it  my  first  business  to  publish  in  a  fitting 
manner  the  whole  of  your  writings,  to  be  a  lasting  monument  of 
your  worth,  and  of  my  affection.  As  for  my  letters,  I  will  de- 
posit them  with  yours  (for  I  have  preserved  every  line  that  I 

N  2 


ever  received  from  you).  There  is  nothing  in  them  which 
might  not  be  seen  by  men  and  angels,  and  though  written,  as 
their  utter  carelessness  and  unreserve  may  show,  without  the 
slightest  reference  to  any  other  eyes  than  those  to  which  they 
were  addressed,  I  shall  not  be  unwilling  to  think  that  when 
time  has  consecrated  both  our  memories  (which  it  will  doj  this 
correspondence  may  see  the  light.  Our  earthly  life,  dear 
Caroline,  lasts  longer  than  in  the  hearts  of  those  we  love ;  it 
endures  in  the  hearts  of  those  whom  we  have  never  known,  and 
who  learn  to  love  us  after  our  work  on  earth  is  done.  They 
who  live  on  earth,  in  their  good  works,  continue  to  make  friends 
there  as  long  as  their  works  survive ;  and  it  may  be  one  of  the 
pleasures  of  another  state  to  meet  those  friends  when  they 
seek  us  in  heaven.  I  often  feel  that  this  will  and  must  be  so, 
when  on  reading  a  good  old  book  my  heart  yearns  towards 

Henry  Taylor  undertakes  the  disposal  of  my  papers  if  he 
survives  me — which  I  sometimes  fear  he  may  not :  not  calcu- 
lating, God  knows,  upon  any  likelihood  of  longevity  in  myself, 
nor  desiring  it,  except  for  the  sake  of  those  who  would  feel  my 
loss,  but  because  he  is  the  son  of  a  consumptive  mother,  and 
was  born  but  a  little  while  before  her  death.  Among  those 
who  are  much  my  juniors  he  is  the  only  man  whom  I  have 
taken  to  my  heart. 

But  now  let  us  put  away  posthumous  considerations,  and 
think  of  what  we  may  yet  do  for  ourselves.  I  knew  you  would 
delight  in  Stewart's  book,  and  so  you  will  in  Ellis's,  and  in  his 
Polynesian  Researches.  They  are  all  most  interesting  books,  and 
you  will  find  in  them  subjects  which  I  hope  will  tempt  you  to 
produce  something  for  our  projected  volumes.  Or  if  you  will 
think  again  of  that  Irish  story,  I  will  send  you  what  I  have 
thought  as  to  the  manner  of  treating  it,  and  the  matters  of 
times,  places,  and  circumstances,  for  dressing  it  up. 

Longman  has  applied  to  me  for  a  volume  of  our  naval  his- 
tory, given  in  the  form  of  biography,  for  which  he  offers  the 
same  price  as  he  pays  to  Scott  and  Mackintosh,  being  £750  for 
the  volume.  The  volume  is  small,  but  holds  much ;  and  the 


prescribed  extent  is  from  350  to  400  pages.  But  this  is  large 
pay — about  the  rate  of  my  Quarterly  Review  payment,  and  with 
the  advantage  of  one  straightforward  subject ;  and  as  the  task 
is  neither  difficult  nor  unpleasant,  I  have  undertaken  it,  but  not 
to  make  it  my  employment  till  midsummer  next,  if  I  am 
living  and  well.  At  present  I  am  on  a  life  of  John  Bunyan  ; 
on  Maw's  voyage  down  the  Orellana,  for  the  Quarterly  Review ; 
and  on  the  Peninsular  War — working  tooth  and  nail.  The 
more  quietly  and  steadily  I  am  employed,  always  the  more 
cheerful  I  am  :  such  exercise  of  the  mind  seems  as  necessary 
for  my  perfect  health  and  spirits  as  exercise  of  body  is  for 
others.  But  I  do  not  neglect  the  body ;  and  as  the  sun  shines 
just  now,  which  he  is  little  in  the  habit  of  doing,  I  shall  make 
up  my  despatches  (put  my  clogs  to  the  fire  meantime),  and,  in 
vulgar  English,  fetch  a  walk. 

Now  remember  that  I  love  your  letters,  and  that  it  will  be 
a  great  pleasure  to  hear  that  you  continue  to  amend. 

Dear  Caroline,  Grod  bless  you. 



BTTCKLAND,  January  ±th,  1830. 

Your  letter  came  to  gladden  me  on  Christmas  Day,  dear 
friend— not  till  then,  though  dated  the  16th.  Kindly  and 
freely  you  have  always  answered  and  granted  every  question 
and  request  of  mine  ;  kindest  of  all  is  your  last  answer — all, 
much  more  than  all  I  asked.  I  shall  now  keep  those  treasured 
letters  while  I  live,  with  a  clear  conscience,  and  perhaps  you 
may  have  created  in  my  heart  a  feeling  which  before  (as  relating 
to  myself)  had  no  existence  there — a  degree  of  interest  in  some- 
thing of  me  that  shall  survive  on  earth — I  mean  our  correspond- 
ence. All  my  share  in  it  will  find  indulgence  for  your  sake. 


I  hardly  thought  you  would  have  preserved  letters  many  of 
which,  I  feared,  had  tried  your  patience.  As  for  any 
manuscript  fragments  I  may  leave  behind  me,  I  may  tell  you, 
for  your  comfort,  the  longer  I  live  the  fewer  these  will  be,  for 
I  have  ruthless  fits  of  destructiveness.  In  the  meantime,  I 
mean  to  live,  if  I  can,  just  as  long  as  you  do,  though  it  would 
be  pleasant  to  bid  you  the  first  welcome  to  our  better  country. 
Thank  you,  my  dear  friend ;  I  will  dwell  no  longer  on  a  sub- 
ject so  satisfactorily  settled — to  me. 

"  The  Keepsake"  has  been  sent  to  me  for  a  birthday  offering. 
It  pleases  me  well  not  to  find  you  among  that  "  mob  of  gentle- 
men who  write  with  ease."  Let  them  have  that  red  book  all  to 
themselves;  there  is  now  a  charming  equality,  a  beautiful 
keeping  throughout,  nothing  to  distract  one's  attention  from 
the  pretty  pictures.  Poor  Alario  the  Goth  keeps  ahead  in  the 
Annual  regatta.  As  to  the  poetical  part  of  his  volume,  there  are 
no  great  literary  names  in  his  catalogue,  to  be  sure,  but  then 
there  are  no  lords. 

No,  indeed,  I  will  not  think  again  of  the  Irish  story,  other- 
wise than  that  you  are  to  work  upon  it.  I  am  angry  with 
myself  that  Stewart  and  Ellis's  books,  though  I  do  delight  in 
them,  tempt  me  not  (as  you  thought  they  would)  to  glean  from 
them  subjects  for  verse.  I  cannot  identify  my  feelings,  my 
nature,  with  those  of  your  Polynesian  friends,  interesting  as 
they  are ;  and,  therefore,  I  cannot  make  anything  of  them  more 
than  if  they  were  seals  or  codfish. 

I  can  the  more  entirely  enter  into  your  beautiful  view  of  the 
possibility  of  making  friends  here,  when  we  are  gone,  who  shall 
claim  acquaintance  with  us  hereafter,  because  I  feel  that  I 
know  and  love  some  who  departed  hence  before  my  birth  almost 
as  well  as  if  we  had  met  in  the  body,  and  I  have  sometimes 
fallen  into  conversation  with  them  as  familiarly  as  you  with 
Sir  Thomas  More. 

One  worthy  of  a  past  century  I  have  just  taken  an  invete- 
rate dislike  to,  from  that  first  volume  of  his  Life  and  Corre- 
spondence (I  have  not  yet  reached  the  second).  I  mean  that 
sanctified  coxcomb,  Philip  Doddridge,  that  prig  of  holiness. 


What  did  the  women  of  that  day  see  in  the  creature,  or  find 
in  his  fulsome  flattery  and  general  love-making,  rendered  so 
odious  by  the  profane  admixture  of  professedly  pious  with  very 
earthly  feelings,  as  to  run  after  him  as  they  seem  to  have  done, 
swallowing  with  equal  docility  his  inquisitorial  impertinence 
and  more  impertinent  adulation  ? 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  February  15th,  1830. 

Concerning  Horace  Smith.  He  was  here  some  two  or  three 
years  ago  with  Baron  Field  (the  person  to  whom  Charles  Lamb 
wrote  that  amusing  letter  to  Botany  Bay).  MilmanVJfa//  of^ 
Jerusalem  was  mentioned,  and  I  said  something  of  the  want  of 
judgment,  as  well  as  of  feeling,  in  mixing  up  a  love-story  with 
so  awful  a  subject,  in  which  any  mixture  of  fiction  appeared 
almost  sacrilegious,  for  it  belonged  to  something  more  than 
mere  human  history.  He  sent  me  his  Zillah  some  twelve^ 
months  afterwards,  with  a  letter,  saying,  that  what  he  had 
heard  me  say  had  influenced  him  in  timing  his  story  so  as  to 
avoid  all  interference  with  sacred  history.  I  thanked  him,  in 
reply,  for  his  book,  said  something  civil  about  it,  praising  what 
was  praisable  (not,  I  think,  above  its  deserts),  and  complaining^ 
that  there  was  no  repose  in  the  story,  but  always  a  stream  of 
adventures,  or  an  exhibition  of  costume.  He  told  me  the  cause 
of  this,  which  was,  that  Colburn  keeps  a  reader  and  corrector  of 
his  manuscripts,  who  strikes  out  everything  that  is  not  in  some 
degree  stimulant,  and  by  this  person  all  his  digressions  and  his- 
torical parts,  which  had  been  intended  as  a  relief,  were  expunged. 

Horace  Smith  is  a  very  clever  writer  in  light  verse.     I  do" 
not  think  we  have  a  better.     Novels  I  never  look  into,  unless 


there  is  some  special  reason  for  so  doing.  He  has  repented  of 
some  impertinences  towards  Wordsworth,  and  made  the  amende 
honorable  for  them,  and  is,  I  believe,  in  all  respects  a  wiser  man 
than  he  was  in  his  youth.  If  my  letters  were  a  little  too 
complimentary  (of  which,  however,  I  am  not  conscious),  I 
should  hardly  repent  of  it :  an  ill-natured  review  to  which  yoiK 
allude  may  perhaps  have  caused  a  tendency  that  way.  I  am 
vexed  with  the  reviewal,  as  very  needlessly  severe — vexed  that 
Lockhart  should  have  published  it,  coupled  with  so  much  praise 
of  his  father-in-law,  which,  to  say  the  least,  was  indiscreet ;  and 
vexed  that  it  should  have  been  written  by  a  young  man  of  very- 
extraordinary  powers,  Heraud  by  name.  I  think  you  have 
heard  me  speak  of  him. 

I  know  nothing  of  your  Quaker  friends,  except  that  what 
little  of  theirs  has  fallen  in  my  way  has  pleased  me.  Dear 
friend,  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  those  who  are  most  reserved 
when  they  feel  no  liking  are  attracted  with  most  warmth  when 
they  attract  themselves.  Towards  the  greater  number  of  persons 
who  come  in  my  way  I  am  cold  and  courteous.  Some  there  are 
who  make  me  draw  into  myself,  like  a  tortoise,  or  roll  myself  up 
in  my  prickles,  like  a  hedgehog  ;  and  sometimes,  but  rarely,  I 
bristle  like  a  porcupine  at  an  odious  presence.  The  more  liking 
and  love,  therefore,  have  I  for  those  who  deserve  them.  Miss 
Jewsbury  I  have  never  seen.  Dora  Wordsworth  is  very  fond 
of  her  ;  but  they  have  never  brought  her  here,  probably  because 
of  her  impertinence  towards  me,  for  which  I  daresay  she  cannot 
forgive  herself  as  easily  as  I  forgive  her.  The  Groth  is  said  to 
have  a  very  amiable  wife.  He  himself,  I  suspect,  is  in  no  good 
humour  with  me,  on  the  score  of  his  Souvenir,  having  failed  to 
bargain  with  me,  when  he  might  have  had  JSleemon,  before  the 
Keepsakers  came  for  it.  The  fault  was  his  own,  not  mine.  I 
respect  his  talents,  pity  his  temper,  and  have  not  the  slightest 
ill  will  towards  him. 

Try  what  you  can  remember  about  Fielding  for  me.  The 
Voyage  to  Lisbon  is  the  most  remarkable  example  I  ever  met 
with  of  native  cheerfulness  triumphant  over  bodily  suffering 
and  surrounding  circumstances  of  misery  and  discomfort. 


Murray  has  managed  very  ill  with  me  about  his  Family 
Library ',  using  my  name  without  my  leave  or  knowledge,  and 
then  making  a  most  inadequate  offer — not,  in  fact,  half  of  what 
Longman  offered.  By-and-bye,  however,  I  will  write  for  him, 
if  he  pay  as  he  ought  to  do,  two  or  three  volumes  of  Lives  of 
our  Divines,  leaving  out  those  of  whom  Izaak  Walton  has 
written.  Biography  is  easily  written,  and  I  like  to  write  it.  - 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



BUCKLAND,  February  20th,  1830. 

Your  goodness  about  Horace  Smith  rebukes  me,  though  you 
do  not,  for  my  spitefulness ;  but  really  I  bore  Zillah  in  silence, 
having  my  heart  full  of  wrath  against  that  hard  measure  in  the 
Quarterly  Review,  and  would  not  have  breathed  one  word  of  my 
secret  thoughts,  though  he  had  gone  on  cockneyfying  all  anti- 
quity; but  when  he  invaded  mine  own  territory,  mine  own 
dear  Forest,  where  he  dared  get  up  a  lion  hunt  in  one  of  its 
quiet  glades,  which  never  echoed  to  any  sound  more  ter- 
rible than  "  Come  home,  Willy,  poor  Willy "  (the  beautiful 
deer  call),  I  could  bear  it  no  longer,  especially  when  triumph- 
antly told  by  that  awful  man  you  wrote  of,  that  his  friend  had 
been  encouraged  in  his  literary  career  by  my  friend  Mr.  Southey ; 
then  he  flourished  away  about  your  letter.  That  said  worthy 
once  very  seriously  advised  my  Uncle  Burrard,  in  my  hearing, 
to  stick  up  "some  artifical  palm  trees"  on  the  bare  neck  of 
shingle  whereon  stands  Calshot  Castle.  "  I  am  afraid,  Mr.  K.," 
said  my  Uncle,  with  the  greatest  gravity,  "  they  would  hardly 
stand  our  south-westers."  "  Oh,  yes,  Sir  EL,"  rejoined  the 
lover  of  the  picturesque ;  "  you  might  have  them  all  backed 
with  stout  boards,  and  the  branches  strengthened  with  iron. 


That  plan  answered  admirably  at  my  friend  William  Spencer's 
villa,  where  he  gave  a  fete  champetre  last  year." 

My  hope  of  raking  out  something  relating  to  Fielding  hangs 
on  a  very  slender  thread — on  the  recovery  of  an  aged  friend  of 
mine  (a  living  chronicle  of  the  days  that  are  gone),  who  has  just 
completed  her  ninetieth  year,  but  is  very  ill  at  present.  Her 
mind  and  memory  are  perfect  as  in  her  youth,  and  if  she  lives 
to  gossip  with  me  again  I  may  pick  up  something :  my  own 
second-hand  recollections  are  too  shadowy.  You  would  smile 
to  overhear  a  gossip  between  me  and  this  venerable  friend  of 
mine — the  delight  of  both  of  us,  I  believe — for  I  am  so  perfect 
in  the  stories  of  her  youth  and  my  grandmother's,  that  after  a 
very  little  while,  when  wearied  with  her  subject,  she  forgets  I 
am  not  my  grandmother,  and  says,  "  You  remember  so-and-so, 
my  dear,"  which  I  always  make  a  point  of  remembering  in  the 
way  she  intends  at  the  moment,  and  so  the  conversation  never 
flags,  till,  after  some  short  pause,'  she  recollects  herself,  and 
scolds  me  for  letting  her  cheat  herself  so  long,  and  forget  I  am 
not  my  grandmother. 

Gk>d  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  March  13th,  1830. 

The  paper  upon  the  Pauper  Colonies  refers  in  its  table  to  I 
believe  all  the  publications  upon  the  subject.  There  is  one  I 
think  by  Jacob,  who  is  a  very  able  and  judicious  man,  and  on 
whom  full  reliance  may  be  placed.  There  will  be  great  diffi- 
culties to  overcome  in  England,  arising  mainly  from  want  of 
sufficient  authority  in  those  to  whom  the  direction  of  such  an 
attempt  may  be  entrusted,  and  to  the  insubordinate  habits  of 
the  persons  who  are  to  be  managed.  Before  any  attempt  is 


made,  some  one  who  is  to  take  a  part  in  it  should  go  to  Holland, 
and  make  himself  acquainted  with  what  has  been  done  there 
upon  the  spot.  The  natural  disadvantages  were  far  greater 
there ;  the  civil  ones  not  so  many,  nor  so  difficult  to  overcome 
as  with  us. 

This  morning  I  finished  my  work  with  Bunyan,  except  what 
is  to  be  done  in  correcting  a  few  more  proofs.  Major  (the 
publisher)  has  had  the  rare  grace  for  a  bookseller,  of  perceiving 
that  I  had  done  for  him  as  much  again  as  he  had  expected  and 
bargained  for  (more  perhaps  than  he  had  wished),  and  he  has 
sent  me  a  hundred  instead  of  fifty  guineas.  So  he  is  very  well 
pleased,  and  so  am  I,  although  this  is  very  much  below  the 
market-price  of  my  handy- work  at  this  time.  But  I  consented 
to  do  it  for  him,  because  I  liked  the  task,  and  thought,  moreover, 
the  price  he  offered  was  as  much  as  the  speculation  could  afford, 
especially  as  he  offered  also  twenty-five  guineas  upon  every  after 
edition,  which,  though  a  mere  contingency,  is  yet  worth  some- 
thing. He  proposed  about  forty  pages,  and  the  amount  will  be 
nearer  ninety.  He  has  asked  me  now  to  introduce  in  like  man- 
ner an  ornamented  edition  of  Robinson  Crusoe. 

I  have  seldom  been  more  disgusted  with  anything  than  with- 
the  account  of  Moore's  Life  of  Byron  in  Blackwood — I  mean  with 
the  spirit  and  manner  of  the  writer,  whom  I  suppose  to  be 
Wilson.  Have  you  observed  in  the  Keepsake  the  letter 
about  Lord  Byron  calling  me  out,  and  what  was  to  be  done 
if  he  should  be  the  survivor?  He  knew  very  well  that  all 
his  calling  would  not  have  made  me  "  come  and  be  killed,"  like 
the  ducks  in  the  song ;  and  a  wholesome  apprehension  of  the 
sort  of  answer  which  I  should  have  returned  to  a  challenge 
made  him  wisely  determine  not  to  send  one. 

Tuesday  15. — There  is  a  certain  Fraser's  Magazine,  &-la,-Black- ' 
icood,  which  has  invoked  me  to  send  them  verses  occasionally, 
whereunto  I  consent  upon  terms  of  ten  guineas  per  hundred 
lines.  They  have  got  my  "  Young  Dragon  "  in  their  clutches, 
and  I  shall  be  glad  when  the  money  is  mine.  The  Dragon  will 
then  have  been  worth  fifty-five  guineas,  which  is  as  much  as  a 
good  horse,  and  I  retain  my  right  over  him  for  after  publication. 


They  want  the  Devil  also,  but  the  Devil  is  not  to  be  let  loose 
unless  a  large  offer  is  made  for  him. 

Dear  Caroline,  God  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  April  14£A,  1830. 

Lady  Byron  sent  me  her  letter.  If  she  thought  it  necessary 
to  vindicate  her  parents,  she  could  not  have  done  it  better. 
Moore  is  unpardonable  for  having  made  her  think  it  necessary, 
and  as  for  Campbell,  it  would  be  difficult  to  express  the  thorough^ 
disgust  with  which  I  read  his  rant,  and  the  contempt  with  which 
I  could  not  but  regard  the  writer.  So  heartless,  so  empty, 
vapouring  a  composition,  never  came  in  my  way  before.  It 
might  have  been  written  by  an  Irish  fortune-hunter,  impudent 
enough  to  have  formed  a  scheme  for  marrying  Lady  Byron, 
and  fool  enough  to  think  the  best  way  of  succeeding  in  it 
would  be  to  get  into  a  quarrel  as  her  volunteer  champion,  and 
perhaps  receive  a  challenge. 

The  Memoirs  I  have  not  seen,  but  Henry  Taylor  sent  me 
some  passages  about  myself.  Most  probably  in  the  next  volume 
I  shall  occupy  a  more  conspicuous  place ;  but  Moore,  I  suppose, 
will  be  cautious  for  his  own  sake. 

Fraser's  Magazine  will  not  be  much  in  the  way  of  the  Mon- 
ster's, for  no  one  will  think  of  dropping  Blackicood  for  the  sake 
of  taking  another  just  of  the  same  kind  which  has  its  reputation 
to  make.  They  have  behaved  impudently  in  making  use  of 
my  name  without  my  leave  ;  not  that  I  care  for  it,  nor  should 
have  refused  it  if  they  had  asked  it  as  a  favour.  But  I  shall 
give  them  a  pretty  strong  reprimand  as  soon  as  I  receive  pay- 
ment, not  thinking  the  matter  of  consequence  enough  to  write 
•expressly  about  it. 


You  will  have  the  whole  life  of  Nelson  in  the  Family  Library, 
and  a  good  many  insertions.  That  life  will  occasion,  me  some 
little  difficulty  in  the  volume  of  Naval  Biography  which  I  have 
undertaken  for  the  Cabinet  Cyclopedia.  My  best  way  will  be 
to  say  that  no  life  of  Nelson  is  included  there,  because  it  would 
only  repeat  what  I  had  elsewhere  said,  and  to  treat  the  great 
actions  in  which  he  was  engaged  under  other  names.  This  I 
believe  can  be  done  in  every  instance  except  the  battle  of 

Whenever  I  go  to  London  you  may  be  assured  that  my  first 
movement  beyond  it  will  be  to  Buckland ;  and  if  it  be  in  a  fit 
season,  then  for  the  Isle  of  Wight.  Indeed  it  will  be  the  most 
pleasurable  object  to  which  I  can  look  forward,  on  leaving 
home,  whenever  that  may  be. 

By  an  ornamented  edition  of  Robinson  Crusoe  I  simply  mean 
"  adorned  with  cuts,"  much  I  suppose,  in  the  same  manner  as 
the  Pilgrim' 8  Progress,  in  which,  to  my  surprise,  Murray  has 
thought  it  worth  his  while  to  embark  with  Major.  I  have  only 
to  supply  something  prefatory  either  as  a  Memoir  of  Defoe,  or 
bibliographically,  treating  of  such  real  adventurers  as  resemble 
Defoe's  fiction,  and  of  such  fictions  as  have  been  produced  in 
imitation  of  it. 

I  have  begun  the  life  of  Sidney.  My  series  for  the  Family 
Library  will  most  likely  begin  with  the  Black  Prince,  because  I 
must  reserve  for  the  Book  of  the  State  those  persons  whose  lives 
are  inseparably  connected  with  the  national  history  of  England, 
such  as  Alfred,  and  Robert  Earl  of  Gloucester.  The  Black 
Prince's  exploits  were  in  foreign  wars  which  in  the  Book  of  the 
State  I  shall  only  refer  to  in  noting  their  effects  upon  the  state 
and  progress  of  society  at  home.  The  list  for  my  first  volume 
therefore  stands  thus  at  present : — The  Black  Prince,  Chaucer, 
Wolsey,  Sir  T.  More,  Surrey,  Roger  Ascham,  Fox  the  Martyro- 
logist,  and  Essex.  Tell  me  if  you  can  call  to  mind  any  who 
should  have  a  place  among  them.  There  is  nothing  more  to  be 
said  of  Wicliff  e  than  what  I  have  already  said  in  the  Book  of  the 
Church  :  and  to  qualify  myself  for  writing  a  life  of  Roger 
Bacon  would  require  more  than  any  price  could  pay  for,  and 


indeed  than  at  my  age  I  could  afford  to  bestow  upon  such  a 
subject.  Many  years  ago  I  urged  Davy  to  take  that  subject  as 
one  suited  to  his  talents  and  worthy  of  them. 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 



BUCKLAND,  April  Nth,  1830. 

You  have  long  ceased  to  speak  of  moving  southward,  and  as 
I  was  conscious  you  could  not  speak  of  it  as  a  desirable  prospect 
on  your  own  account,  I  hardly  allowed  myself  to  wish  you 
might  do  so.  My  disinterestedness  was,  however,  the  less  meri- 
torious, as  I  feel  my  hold  of  earth  too  slight  to  allow  me  to  build 
castles  on  it,  as  I  was  once  too  prone  to  do,  and  perhaps  way- 
wardly  mourn  that  I  can  do  so  no  longer.  I  would  not  live  my 
youth  over  again  for  all  the  world,  but  some  of  its  illusions  I 
would  give  worlds  to  renew.  You  are  much  younger  in  spirit 
than  I  am;  but  it  took  many,  many  years  (from  the  age  of 
scarce  fifteen  to  twenty-six)  to  depress,  and  at  last  almost  crush 
the  elasticity  of  mine,  and  the  looking  back  upon  all  the  strange 
troubles  I  then  had  to  steer  through  affects  my  mind  far  more 
painfully  now  than  at  the  time  of  their  actual  existence.  All 
through  that  interval  I  knew  that,  for  the  most  part,  precious 
time  was  slipping  past  me  unimproved,  wasted,  worse  than 
wasted ;  and  yet  I  could  not  help  myself.  I  had  hardly  leisure 
to  deplore  the  irretrievable  loss,  or  to  look  on  from  the  per- 
plexing present  to  the  uncertain  future.  Is  it  not  sad  to  look 
back  on  such  a  youth,  and  to  think  how  late  I  began  to  live  ? 
The  thought  might  well  strike  despair  into  my  heart  if  life 
ended  here :  it  does  not,  and  all  will  be  well,  for  which  acknow- 
ledgment's sake  forgive  all  that  precedes  it. 

I  am  glad  to  find  you  and  I  are  so  entirely  agreed  on  the 


subject  of  Campbell's  letters.  Were  I  Lady  Byron,  he  should 
never  more  enter  my  presence  after  what  I  should  consider  such 
an  insult  to  my  feelings  and  womanly  dignity.  She  cannot  have 
sanctioned  it ;  but  I  think  she  should  not  have  sent  her  letter 
to  you,  entirely  unacquainted  with  you,  as  I  believe  she  is, 
opposed  as  you  have  always  been  in  a  peculiar  manner  before 
the  eye  of  the  public  to  Lord  Byron,  and  hostile  as  he  was  to 
you.  Lady  Byron's  referring  to  you,  as  she  has  done,  looks  too 
like  an  endeavour  to  enlist  a  champion  in  her  cause,  which 
needs  none,  would  she  let  it  find  its  level  quietly  and  gradually. 
I  am  longing  to  see  some  of  Blake's  engravings  from  his 
own  extraordinary  designs,  of  which  I  first  heard  from  yourself. 
Do  you  know  whether  they  are  scarce,  or  dear?  They  are 
certainly  not  generally  known.  Cunningham's  life  of  him  in 
the  Family  Library  has  strengthened  the  interest  for  Blake  and 
his  works  with  which  your  account  first  inspired  me.  Mad 
though  he  might  be,  he  was  gifted  and  good,  and  a  most  happy 
being.  I  should  have  delighted  in  him,  and  would  fain  know 
how  it  fares  with  the  faithful,  affectionate  partner  of  his 
honourable  life.  I  hope  she  is  not  in  indigence.  Have  I  ever 
told  you  that  I  have  lost  my  kind  and  valuable  neighbours  the 
Dalrymples  ?  Poor  Sir  John  died  about  five  months  ago,  after 
much  protracted  suffering,  and  his  widow,  partly  from  pe- 
cuniary reasons,  partly  from  distaste  to  her  home  since  his 
death,  has  sold  her  pretty  little  villa  to  some  near  relations  of 
mine,  who  formerly  lived  in  this  neighbourhood,  and  are  now 
returning  to  end  their  days  here — a  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Roche.  She 
lived  much  in  my  father's  house  before  she  married,  has  always 
been  in  kindness  and  affection  a  second  mother  to  me,  and  the 
person  of  all  others  in  my  own  family  on  whom  I  rely  most  in 
time  of  need.  You  will  be  glad  to  hear  such  a  friend  is  settling 
near  me  ;  but  as  yet  my  satisfaction  in  visiting  their  new  pur- 
chase (where  I  am  superintending  some  necessary  works  previous 
to  their  coming  to  take  possession)  is  mingled  with  painful  recol- 
lections of  the  late  owners  of  the  place.  It  is  with  a  sort  of 
dream-like  feeling  I  sometimes  find  myself  standing  in  the  same 
drawing-room,  now  unfurnished  and  desolate,  where  so  short  a 


time  since  I  was  sitting  with  those  now  in  the  grave,  or  gone  from 
thence  for  ever ;  who  little  suspected  then  how  soon  their  guest 
would  be  giving  orders  for  others  in  their  happy  home.  So 
dreaming,  I  forget  my  business  with  carpenters  and  painters  till 
they  wake  me  with  their  questions,  and  then  I  feel  as  if  I  were 
heartlessly  intruding  some  usurped  authority,  and  I  give  my 
orders  in  a  low  voice,  and  tread  softly,  as  if  the  dead  could  hear, 
and  might  reproach  me.  How  this  dreamy  temper  grows  upon 
one ! — upon  me  at  least,  as  I  advance  in  life.  It  does  not  help 
to  fit  one  for  this  world  assuredly,  but  it  is  no  hindrance  in  our 
way  to  the  other ;  at  least  so  I  am  fain  to  persuade  myself, 
perhaps.  The  best  home  news  I  have  to  tell  you  is,  that  I  have 
three  nightingales  in  my  little  flower  garden ;  that  I  not  only 
hear,  but  see  them  sing,  so  fearlessly  do  they  sit  in  the  bough  of 
an  acacia  over  my  head  (one  of  them,  at  least,  and  his  rivals 
hard  by  on  neighbouring  trees).  Last  winter,  during  that  long 
sharp  frost,  one  of  my  garden  blackbirds  got  so  desperate  from 
starvation,  that  he  actually  hopped  into  Mufti's  house  in  the 
yard,  and  disputed  his  bones  with  him.  Hunger  makes  strange 
messmates,  as  well  as  Poverty  "  strange  bedfellows."  Mufti's 
astonishment  overcame  his  indignation,  and  Blacky  hopped  off 
with  such  a  bone  as  I  could  not  have  believed  his  beak  could 
have  lifted,  if  I  had  not  witnessed  the  feat.  I  heard  the  cuckoo 
this  morning  for  the  first  time,  and,  by-the-bye,  it  is  Knap  I 
think,  the  author  of  the  Journal  of  a  Naturalist,  who  says  that 
towards  autumn  and  the  cessation  of  its  song  that  bird  breaks 
its  note  into  fragments — that  odd  "cuck!  cuck!  cuck!  cuckoo!" 
you  first  made  me  observe,  and  I  have  since  so  often  observed. 
Here  I  have  written  you  two  acres  of  letter.  What  it  is  to 
encourage  some  people  !  If  my  last  was  a  week  on  the  road  to 
you,  your  reply  was  nearly  as  long  on  its  way  Jiere. 

Fare  you  well,  and  Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  May  8th,  1830. 

You  judge  rightly  about  Lady  Byron,  as  you  always  do  ; 
but  though  I  have  never  seen  her,  nor  held  any  communication 
with  her,  she  does  not  consider  me  altogether  as  a  stranger ; 
for  she  was  very  well  acquainted  with  my  brother  Dr.  Southey 
before  her  marriage,  and,  indeed,  before  her  acquaintance  with 
Lord  Byron,  and  it  was  through  him  that  her  letter  was  sent. 
Certainly  no  such  thought  ever  passed  across  her  mind  as  that 
of  wishing  me  to  appear  in  her  defence.  She  sent  it  to  me  as 
to  one  of  whom  she  had  been  accustomed  to  think  well  before 
my  name  was  ever  connected  with  Lord  Byron's. 

My  lease  is  renewed,  and  I  am,  as  far  as  ordinary  foresight 
goes,  settled  here  for  the  remainder  of  my  days.  I  have  taken 
the  house  for  five  years,  with  the  choice  of  quitting  it  at  the  end 
of  that  time,  or  retaining  it  for  another  like  term.  Necessary 
repairs  are  to  be  made,  as  for  a  new  tenant,  and  in  fact  work- 
men are  now  in  the  house,  which  little  by  little  has  undergone 
great  improvement.  I  have  a  melancholy  feeling  that  it  will 
one  day  be  too  large  for  my  family ;  but  a  smaller  would  not 
contain  us  now,  nor  my  books  at  any  time,  and  books  are  all 
but  everything  to  me.  I  live  with  them  and  by  them,  and 
might  almost  say  for  them  and  in  them. 

I  have  nothing  of  Blake's  but  his  designs  for  Blair's  Grave 
which  were  published  with  the  poem.  His  still  stranger  de- 
signs for  his  own  compositions  in  verse  were  not  ready  for  sale 
when  I  saw  him,  nor  did  I  ever  hear  that  they  were  so.  Much 
as  he  is  to  be  admired,  he  was  at  that  time  so  evidently  insane, 
that  the  predominant  feeling  in  conversing  with  him,  or  even 
looking  at  him,  could  only  be  sorrow  and  compassion.  His 
wife  partook  of  his  insanity  in  the  same  way  (but  more  happily) 
as  Taylor  the  pagan's  wife  caught  her  husband's  paganism. 


And  there  are  always  crazy  people  enough  in  the  world  to  feed 
and  foster  such  craziness  as  his.  My  old  acquaintance  William 
Owen,  now  Owen  Pugh,  who,  for  love  of  his  native  tongue, 
composed  a  most  laborious  "Welsh  Dictionary,  without  the 
slightest  remuneration  for  his  labour,  when  he  was  in  straitened 
circumstances,  and  has,  since  he  became  rich,  translated  Para- 
dise Lost  into  "Welsh  verse,  found  out  Blake  after  the  death 
of  Joanna  Southcote,  one  of  whose  four-and-twenty  elders 
he  was.  Poor  Owen  found  everything  which  he  wished  to 
find  in  the  Bardic  system,  and  there  he  found  Blake's  notions, 
and  thus  Blake  and  his  wife  were  persuaded  that  his  dreams 
were  old  patriarchal  truths,  long  forgotten,  and  now  re-revealed. 
They  told  me  this,  and  I,  who  well  knew  the  muddy  nature  of 
Owen's  head,  knew  what  his  opinion  upon  such  a  subject  was 
worth.  I  came  away  from  the  visit  with  so  sad  a  feeling  that 
I  never  repeated  it. 

The  exhibition  of  his  pictures,  which  I  saw  at  his  brother's 
house  near  Golden-square,  produced  a  like  melancholy  impres- 
sion. The  colouring  of  all  was  as  if  it  had  consisted  merely  of 
black  and  red  ink  in  all  intermixture.  Some  of  the  designs 
were  hideous,  especially  those  which  he  considered  as  most 
supernatural  in  their  conception  and  likenesses.  In  others  you 
perceived  that  nothing  but  madness  had  prevented  him  fronr~" 
being  the  sublimest  painter  of  this  or  any  other  country.  You 
could  not  have  delighted  in  him — his  madness  was  too  evident, 
too  fearful.  It  gave  his  eyes  an  expression  such  as  you  would 
expect  to  see  in  one  who  was  possessed. 

Whoever  has  had  what  is  sometimes  called  the  vapours, 
and  seen  faces  and  figures  pass  before  his  closed  eyes  when 
he  is  lying  sleepless  in  bed,  can  very  well  understand  how 
Blake  saw  what  he  painted.  I  am  sure  I  can,  from  this  ex- 
perience; and  from  like  experience  can  tell  how  sounds  are 
heard  which  have  had  no  existence  but  in  the  brain  that  pro- 
duced them. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  I  am  making  up  a  packet 
for  London,  and  will  rather  inclose  this  than  wait  for  a  fit 
of  leisure  which  might  fill  the  sheet.  Since  I  began  it,  there 


is  a  chance — a  likelihood — that  I  may  be  in  the  south  during 
the  summer,  or  autumn,  in  which  case  I  shall  see  you. 



BUCKLAND,  May  2Qth,  1830. 

I  have  been  disappointed  in  my  hope  of  acquiring  some 
information  relating  to  Fielding  for  you.  My  old  friend  has 
revived  again,  and  we  have  had  another  gossip  of  old  times ; 
but  I  had  only  the  mortification  of  learning  that  a  few  years 
ago  it  would  have  been  in  her  power  not  only  to  obtain  for  me 
many  interesting  particulars  about  Fielding,  but  probably  much 
of  his  correspondence.  When  Mrs.  Bromfield  (my  old  friend) 
was  a  young  woman,  she  was  the  intimate  friend  of  a  Miss 
Collier,  who  was  a  very  intimate  friend  of  Fielding's.  Miss  C. 
and  her  family  lived  at  that  time  at  Ryde,  in  the  Isle  of 
Wight,  in  the  only  house  at  that  time  standing  of  a  better 
sort  than  the  few  mean  cottages  of  which  Ryde  then  consisted. 
The  ship  in  which  Fielding  sailed  to  Lisbon  lay  for  some  weeks 
off  Ryde,  and  he  used  to  come  ashore  often  to  visit  the  Colliers, 
and  ramble  about  the  island ;  and  one  of  the  characters  in  his 
novels  is  sketched  (Mrs.  Bromfield  says)  from  the  scolding 
landlady  of  the  little  Ryde  inn,  or  rather  ale-house,  who  used 
to  quarrel  with  him  fiercely — pour  cause,  vmisemblement. 

Fielding  corresponded  till  the  close  of  his  life  with  Miss 
Collier,  and  she,  till  her  own  decease,  with  Mrs.  Bromfield, 
often  writing  of  Fielding — but  what,  alas  !  neither  you  nor  I 
shall  ever  bring  to  light,  for  my  dear  old  friend,  thinking  her 
account  with  time  was  on  the  eve  of  an  immediate  close,  some 
two  months  ago,  had  the  old  cabinet,  containing  long -treasured 
correspondence  and  lots  of  other  preciously  antique  papers, 
brought  to  her  bedside,  and  the  whole  destroyed  with  ruth- 

o  2 


less  unsparingness ;  and  of  all  the  Collier  family  she  lost  sight 
after  her  friend's  death,  previous  to  which  they  had  quitted  the 
Isle  of  Wight  to  reside  in  another  part  of  England,  which  she 
does  not  recollect.  There  is  a  long  story  about  nothing  for  you — 
or  rather  (which  is  more  provoking),  of  what  might  have  been 
attainable  two  months  ago,  for  a  sight  of  Miss  Collier's  corre- 
spondence with  Mrs.  Bromfield  might  have  given  a  clue  to 
trace  the  survivors  of  the  Colliers,  in  whose  possession  Fielding's 
letters  to  their  relation  may  still  be. 

I  have  been  disappointed  in  a  scheme  of  my  own,  moreover, 
which,  however,  afforded  me  some  amusement  in  the  concocting 
of  it,  and  seemed  to  wile  me  from  myself  at  a  time  when  I  was 
suffering  more  than  usual  (last  year)  in  mind  and  body.  So  I 
do  not  repent  my  folly.  I  got  up  the  story  of  my  cat  in  sublime 
style — a  feline  epic — illustrated  it  with  appropriate  pen  etch- 
ings, wrote  a  very  solemn  preface,  and  pleased  myself  all  the 
while  with  the  thought  of  the  said  epic's  presenting  itself  at 
Keswick  all  unannounced,  if  I  could  get  it  published  without 
betraying  my  own  identity,  or,  rather,  that  it  was  from  the  pen 

of  the  authoress  of  .     Then,  I  had  been  told  that  your 

great  man,  the  Hybrid,  was  the  most  likely  gudgeon  in  the 
world  to  bite  at  any  hook  baited  with  rank  and  fashion,  and 
half  my  sport  was  the  idea  of  getting  him  to  bring  out  my 
nonsense.  So,  I  took  a  foreign  title,  sealed  with  a  foreign  coat- 
of-arms,  all  coronet,  and  sent  my  MSS.  in  a  dashing  carriage,  to 
match,  through  the  hands  of  a  fair  friend  who  was  charmed  to 
manage  the  intrigue,  and  whose  air  of  fashion  must  have  its 
weight,  I  fancied.  But  she  could  not  see  Murray,  and  left  the 
MSS.  At  the  end  of  a  fortnight  he  returned  it  to  the  address 
indicated,  with  a  very  civil  note,  evidencing  that  he  was  a  little 
puzzled  by  the  mock  seriousness  of  mine,  but  begging  to  decline 
the  honour  of  publishing.  So  I  lost  my  joke,  and  found  I  was 
an  awkward  plotter.  But  still  hankering  to  come  upon  you  by 
surprise,  I  tried  two  other  printers,  with  no  better  success  than 
that.  "  Though  the  thing  was  very  well  done,"  said  one  of 
them,  "he  feared  to  risk  the  expense  of  the  illustrations"; 
and  so  fallen  to  the  ground  is  the  most  unique  epic  that,  I  will 


venture  to  say,  ever  was  strung  together  by  Muse  ancient  or 
modern;  and  (to  be  serious),  on  thinking  the  matter  over,  I 
suspect  I  may  have  reason  to  be  thankful  to  my  rejectors  for 
saving  me  from  ridicule,  which  perhaps  I  might  have  winced 
under  a  little,  if  I  had  been  detected ;  though,  at  the  time  of 
concocting,  I  thought  of  nothing  in  the  world  but  my  own 
sport,  and  a  laugh  with  you,  in  fancy  at  least. 

Now,  I  am  about  to  attack  you  in  the  tenderest  point — 
your  partiality  to  albums. 

Lady  Dalrymple  and  her  sister  have  entreated  me  to  entreat 
you  to  bestow  on  each  of  them  a  few  autograph  words — a 
very  few  will  be  contentedly  and  thankfully  received,  and  you 
will  have  my  thanks  into  the  bargain,  if  that  consideration  may 
be  any  makeweight.  So  I  have  said  what  I  promised  to  say, 
and  on  my  own  account  will  add  no  more  now  than 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  Whitsunday,  1830. 

Here  are  your  autographs,  composed  as  you  will  see  for  the 
nonce,  and  you  have  applied  for  them  just  in  time  :  for  at  the 
end  of  the  Introduction  to  poor  John  Jones's  verses,  I  have 
given  public  notice  against  all  applications  for  such  things, 
requested  newspapers  and  other  journals  to  copy  my  notifica- 
tion, and  expressed  a  hope  that  Sir  James  Graham  would 
mention  it  in  Parliament. 

I  cannot  yet  tell  you  whether  it  will  be  in  autumn  or  in 
summer  that  I  shall  see  you,  but  in  one  season  or  the  other  (God 
willing),  certainly.  Business,  but  of  no  unpleasant  nature, 
requires  me  to  be  in  London  ;  the  time  depends  upon  the  pro- 
ceedings in  Parliament ;  about  the  middle  of  June,  if  the  poor 


king  lingers  on,  and  the  Session  should  in  consequence  be  con- 
tinued so  as  to  carry  through  all  the  business  before  it — not  till 
August  if  a  dissolution  follow  upon  his  death.  You  will  wonder 
why  my  movements  should  be  dependent  upon  such  matters. 
No  one  indeed  knows  anything  of  my  intent  as  yet,  except 
Eickman,  with  whom  I  shall  have  my  head-quarters,  nor  will 
any  other  person  know  my  object  when  I  am  there,  the  hay- 
asthma  being  a  sufficient  pretext  for  my  appearance.  But  I 
may  tell  you  that  I  am  going  to  mix  in  society  with  public 
men,  attend  some  of  the  debates,  look  with  my  own  eyes  into 
the  mechanism  of  parties  for  which  I  shall  have  the  best  oppor- 
tunities, and  collect  such  facts,  substantiated  by  irrefragable 
authorities  and  statements,  that  I  may  hope  by  making  proper 
use  of  them  to  waken  the  land-holders  and  fund-holders  to 
some  sense  of  their  imminent  danger — revolution  and  their 
utter  ruin  being  inevitable,  and  near  at  hand,  unless  they  can 
be  roused  by  frightening  them.  I  am  not  without  good  hope  of 
effecting  this,  knowing  what  I  know ;  at  any  rate  it  will  be  a 
great  satisfaction  to  feel,  if  the  worst  comes,  that  I  have  done 
my  duty — as  I  will  do  it — strenuously.  Breathe  not  a  word  of 
this.  I  wish  August  may  be  the  time,  not  only  because  I  could 
in  the  interim  get  through  a  world  of  work,  but  because  I  should 
then  probably,  at  the  end  of  a  short  Session,  go  with  Eickman 
to  his  house  at  Portsmouth,  and  from  thence  to  you. 

Fielding  must  have  known  the  Colliers  before  his  voyage  to 
Lisbon ;  he  was  then  dying,  as  they  say,  by  inches,  and  survived 
it  only  a  very  few  weeks,  for  which  reason  his  account  of 
voyage  is  to  me  the  most  extraordinary,  and  perhaps  the  most 
interesting  of  all  his  works.  Never  did  any  man's  natural 
hilarity  support  itself  so  marvellously  under  complicated  dis- 
eases, and  every  imaginable  kind  of  discomfort.  Thank  you 
for  what  you  would  have  procured  for  me,  as  well  as  for  what 
you  have  done.  At  present  I  am  working  like  a  dragon  upon 
Sir  Philip  Sidney's  life,  and  for  the  Quarterly  Review,  hoping  to 
clear  myself  of  all  quarterly  labours  for  full  six  months,  before 
I  start  from  home. 

Your  cat-book  must  have  amused  (and  will  amuse)  me — but 


of  course  I  should  at  once  have  known  from  whom  it  came.*  If 
your  lady-agent  had  seen  Murray  he  might  have  been  dazzled, 
cautious  as  publishers  are  now  become.  The  former  class  of 
persons  who  purchased  books  can  no  longer  afford  to  do  so; 
the  booksellers  therefore  are  turning  almost  their  whole  atten- 
tion to  publications  for  those  who  buy  cheap  works ;  for  those 
persons  they  will  provide  plenty  of  trash,  crude  and  unwhole- 
some, undigested  and  indigestable,  and  sometimes  (unconsciously 
on  the  publishers'  parts)  carrying  poison  with  it,  as  in  Milman's 
History  of  the  Jews — where,  not  being  an  infidel,  shallowness 
and  coxcombry  have  made  him  like  one. 

Public  affairs  were  never  so  fearful,  to  those  who  have  eyes 
to  see,  and  hearts  to  reason  with.  You  probably  know  Prince 
Leopold's  reason  for  resigning  his  fool's-crown  :  a  Regency 
must  be  provided  with  the  new  civil  list,  in  case  of  King 
William-Henry's  death  before  the  Princess  is  of  age,  and 
this  provides  also  (most  unlikely)  in  case  of  his  half-craziness 
again  becoming  whole-craziness.  The  Whigs  mean  to  set  up 
Leopold  as  Regent,  for  which  he  is  undoubtedly  the  most  fit 
person.  I  always  thought  him  destined  for  this :  but  then  I 
thought  him  a  person  of  some  discretion ;  and  who  but  a  fool 
would  have  accepted,  as  he  did,  the  Kingdom  of  Greece  ? 

Another  week  will  go  far  towards  bringing  this  house  in  at 
the  windows  again,  it  having  been  turned  out  of  them  for  more 
than  a  fortnight.  Meantime  I  work  on  unmolested,  and  mur- 
mur only  when  I  have  to  hunt  about  for  books  whose  individual 
places  I  used  to  know  before  the  shelves  were  taken  down  to 
make  place  for  plasterers  and  painters.  Up  they  will  go  again 
ere  long,  and  then  I  shall  sing  "  0  be  joyful." 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 


*  The  Cat-book  was  published  in  1831  by  Blackwood :  "The  Cat's 
Tail,  being  the  History  of  Childe  Merlin.  A  Tale.  By  The  Baroness  de 
Katzleben."  It  has  three  etchings  by  Cruikshank,  after  drawings  by 
Caroline  Bowles. 




RESWICK,  August  8th,  1830. 

I  am  troubled  by  the  events  in  France.  Forty  years  ago  I 
could  partake  the  hopes  of  those  who  expected  that  political 
revolutions  were  to  bring  about  a  political  millennium  ;  now  I 
perceive  in  how  many  circumstances  the  present  crisis  resembles 
that,  and  find  more  cause  in  them  for  fear  than  there  is  for  hope 
in  the  circumstances  wherein  they  differ. 

If  the  young  Duke  of  Bordeaux  were  made  king,  and  the 
Duke  of  Orleans  Regent  and  Protector,  I  should  then  think  that 
never  had  any  people  behaved  more  gloriously  nor  more  wisely 
than  the  Parisians.  There  would  then  be  no  after-evils  to 
apprehend;  the  government  would  have  a  moral  strength  in 
itself,  and  it  would  have  the  support  of  other  Powers,  so  that 
the  spirit  of  democracy  would  be  kept  down.  But  the  Duke  of 
Orleans  has  neither  wisdom  nor  virtue  to  profit  by  the  oppor- 
tunity which  he  has  of  acquiring  one  of  the  best  reputations  in 
history  ;  the  Devil  offers  him  a  crown,  and  he  will  take  it ;  that 
crown  was  the  object  of  his  flagitious  father's  ambition  ;  he  ob- 
tains it  now  in  consequence  (though  not  because)  of  his  father's 
crimes.  I  believe  it  has  long  been  the  object  of  his  own  ambi- 
tion, and  that  the  factious  opposition  to  the  Bourbons  which 
has  constantly  been  kept  up  for  no  avowed  reason  that  any 
Englishman  could  comprehend  has  this  end  in  view.  "  It  is 
not"  therefore,  "and  it  cannot  come  to  good."  The  tricolor 
cockade  was  his  father's  colours,  but  it  became  the  Eobes- 
pierrean  badge;  as  such  the  flag  has  already  been  displayed 
with  black  crape  over  it,  and  by-and-bye  I  fear  it  will  be  dyed 
as  it  used  to  be,  in  blood. 

I  used  to  think  (and  often  expressed  that  thought)  that  the 
Revolution  would  not  have  fulfilled  its  course  till  the  two  houses 
of  Bourbon  and  of  Austria  were  exterminated,  so  much  blood 


was  upon  them  both.     But  no  more  of  this  subject,  which  is  far 
more  in  my  mind  that  I  wish  it  to  be. 

Thursday  next,  if  I  live  to  see  it,  will  complete  my  fifty- 
sixth  year,  and  it  will  be  my  first  birthday  on  which  there  will 
,  have  been  no  bell-ringing,  for  it  happened  to  be  the  late  poor 
king's.  There  is  something  melancholy  in  having  seen  the 
end  of  the  Georges,  the  Georgian  age  having  been  in  part  the 
happiest,  in  part  the  most  splendid,  and  altogether  the  most 
momentous  age  of  our  history.  We  are  entering  upon  a  new 
one,  and  with  no  happy  auspices ;  but  the  rougher  the  road  may 
be,  the  more  satisfaction  is  there  in  knowing  that  the  end  of  the 
journey  cannot  be  far  off. 

Dear  friend,  farewell,  and  God  bless  you. 



BUCKLAND,  August  23rc?,  1830. 

Interesting  as  your  letters  always  are  to  me,  the  last  could 
not  but  be  peculiarly  so — most  of  all  in  what  related  to  your- 
self ;  and  I  need  not  tell  you,  your  birthday  did  not  pass  away 
with  me  unnoted  and  unnoticed,  as  too  many  days  of  oar  brief 
allotment  are  allowed  to  pass.  If  I  live  till  the  6th  of  next 
December,  I  shall  complete  either  my  forty-third  or  forty- fourth 
year  (I  am  doubtful  which) ;  and  at  that  age,  with  my  constitu- 
tion, I  may  account  myself  farther  advanced  than  you  on  the 
downhill  way,  well  content  that  it  should  be  so ;  but  when  we 
look  back  from  Eternity  to  this  brief  account  of  Time,  how  little 
will  it  import  us  which  first  paid  the  reckoning !  For  the 
present  I  feel  enough  interest  in  this  life  to  make  me  more 
than  willing  to  outlive  autumn ;  but  to  be  with  me  before  the 
last  leaf  falls,  you  must  be  beforehand  with  October,  dear 
friend,  for  already  they  are  so  thickly  strewn  that  before  the 


beginning  of  that  month  it  is  probable  the  trees  will  be  leafless. 
I  never  recollect  such  a  premature  autumn.  You  and  I  have 
never  met  but  in  autumn  or  winter — in  the  autumn  of  the  year, 
as  in  that  of  our  lives. 

The  late  events  in  France  have  affected  me  exactly  as  they 
have  affected  you. 

"We  shall  see  whether  the  revolutionary  spirit — yet  so  active 
— will  rest  content  with  the  "  Citizen  King."  Already  the 
government  is  rather  a  crowned  democracy  than  a  limited 
monarchy,  and  I  cannot  believe  the  anarchists  will  long  sub- 
mit even  to  that  semblance  of  a  crown.  At  all  events,  the  late 
explosion  is  surely  but  the  first  of  many  for  which  the  trains 
are  laid  ready  under  other  countries.  Spain,  Portugal  and 
Italy  cannot  be  long  inactive  in  the  day  of  regeneration,  and 
these  are  times  to  make  all  sovereigns  think,  if  they  can.  Our 
mob  king  has  not  had  a  leisure  moment  yet. 

I  am  just  returned  from  an  evening  ride  on  my  fairy  steed, 
and  I  believe  I  have  met — whom  do  you  think? — travelling 
along  our  Hampshire  road,  in  a  britzka  and  four,  without  a 
single  attendant,  or  outrider — no  less  personages,  I  verily  be- 
lieve, have  I  so  encountered  than  the  ex-king  of  France  and 
Madame  la  Duchesse  d'Angouleme,  on  their  road  to  Lulworth 
Castle,  lent  them  by  my  neighbours  and  acquaintances  the 
"Welds,  who  have  preceded  the  royal  exiles  to  prepare  for  their 
reception.  I  suspect  the  rest  of  the  party  have  proceeded  by 
water,  but  am  almost  sure  the  king  and  duchess  (whom  I 
knew  formerly)  were  those  who  passed  me.  What  a  dream  of 
greatness  !  what  an  abrupt  transition  !  The  ladies  of  the  party 
have  been  living  at  the  Fountain  Inn  at  Cowes,  for  many 
days,  walking  about  on  the  pier  there  and  at  Eyde,  and  talking 
to  everybody  who  seemed  inclined  to  talk  to  them.  It  was  signi- 
fied to  the  king  and  dauphin,  who  also  wished  to  land,  that  it 
might  be  unsafe,  so  great  is  the  spirit  of  exasperation  against 
them;  so  they  remained  on  board,  the  king  gazing  at  the 
crowds  assembled  by  a  regatta,  and  greatly  increased  by  the 
curiosity  to  see  him  and  his  family.  This  place  has  been  actu- 
ally depopulated,  such  is  the  rush  towards  Cowes  of  every 


creature  who  could  move — except  me,  who  would  fain  ha\e 
been  farther  than  I  am  even  here  from  a  sight  so  painful. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  September  Uth,  1830. 

"We  have  had  all  sorts  of  people  here.  Dr.  Bell,  the 
Baroness  Grey  de  Buthin  (a  fine,  lively,  good-natured,  bold 
baroness),  with  her  mother,  Lady  Grey,  and  that  mother's 
husband,  Mr.  Eden,  an  honourable  clergyman.  They  were  an 
agreeable  party,  with  whom  I  presently  became  familiar.  Then 
came  a  lady  who  inclosed  to  me  a  note  of  introduction,  and 
sealed  her  note  with  Maria.  When  I  went  to  look  for  her, 
Maria  proved  to  be  a  splendid  person,  tall  enough  for  a  grena- 
dier's wife  in  old  Frederick's  body-guard,  very  handsome,  and 
agreeable  also,  though  as  blue  as  if  she  had  been  dipt  in  an 
indigo  lake.  Nobody  ever  shook  hands  with  me  so  often  in  so 
short  a  time.  She  is  a  Miss  Boss,  of  Scotland,  where  her 
brother  has  just  succeeded  Hume  as  Member  for  Montrose.  I 
saw  her  only  during  a  half-hour's  visit,  for  she  was  on  the 
wing,  and  I  was  bound  that  same  morning  for  the  top  of 
Cawsey  Pike.  But  had  there  been  another  interview,  I  think 
she  would  have  sworn  eternal  friendship. 

There  was  a  report  that  Prince  Polignac  and  his  wife  had 
arrived  in  Keswick,  and  were  lodging  here.  Certain  it  was  that 
an  old  gentleman  and  a  young  lady  were  here,  who  looked  like 
foreigners,  and  conversed  in  French.  "  There  are  the  French 
people,"  Cuthbert  said  to  me  the  other  day,  in  a  low  voice,  as 
we  were  about  to  pass  them  on  our  outward  way,  he  on  a  pony, 
I  as  his  attendant  footman.  "  There  they  are  again,"  said  he, 
as  we  returned.  They  had  then  halted,  as  if  to  let  us  pass, 


when  the  old  gentleman  took  off  his  hat,  and  crossed  over  to 
accost  me.  Off  came  my  cap,  and  I  was  prepared  to  hear 
myself  addressed  as  M.  Soute,  and  to  muster  up  my  best 
French  in  reply,  when  acquaintance  was  claimed  with  me  in 
very  good  English  by  Eobert  Adair,  once  a  political  notoriety, 
whom  I  met  eighteen  years  ago  at  Woburn,  where  he  is  still, 
and  has  puzzled  me  a  little  by  not  introducing  the  lady,  who  is 
young  and  a  foreigner.  He  has  sent  me  up  a  batch  of  French 
newspapers  this  evening,  from  which  I  have  made  some  notable 
extracts  for  use. 

Professor  Airy  came  to-day  with  his  bride.  He  is  the  only 
calculating  prodigy  whose  other  intellectual  powers  have  not 
been  absorbed  by  that  peculiar  talent ;  on  the  contrary,  he  is  a 
person  of  great  ability  in  all  things.  I  hope  Edward,  who  is 
gone  to  Whitehaven  for  the  pleasure  of  going  down  into  a 
coal-pit  under  the  sea,  will  return  in  time  to  see  him. 

Lockhart,  who  has  no  easy  office  at  this  time,  is  disposed 
in  some  measure  to  lean  upon  me,  and  wants  me  to  write  upon 
the  affairs  of  Europe,  and  especially  of  the  Netherlands.  The 
latter  subject  I  have  promised  to  undertake  for  him,  and  shall 
be  led  much  into  the  other  whenever  the  remainder  of  Robes- 
pierre's (real  or  supposititious)  Memoirs  reach  me.  He  tells  me 
that  Sir  Walter  has  been  reviewing  my  Life  of  Biuiyan. 

Wednesday,  15th. — How  fortunate  it  is  that  my  good  pro- 
crastinating bookseller  at  Brussels  did  not  detain  my  books  till 
this  time,  in  hopes  of  laying  his  hand  upon  those  which  were 
mislaid,  and  are  now,  it  must  be  feared,  lost  to  me  for  ever.  I 
should  have  despaired  of  getting  them  now,  for  that  these  revo- 
lutions will  bring  on  a  war  all  circumstances  lead  me  to  con- 
clude. The  course  of  foreign  affairs,  I  think,  may  be  foreseen ; 
not  so  that  part  of  our  own  concerns  which  relates  to  the  admin- 
istration, who  are  to  be  in  and  who  out.  The  Duke,  I  am  told, 
always  makes  his  overtures  through  a  woman — a  Wellesley-like 
way  of  proceeding,  for  which  there  is  the  oldest  of  all  examples 
in  the  third  chapter  of  Genesis. 

Through  such  a  channel  he  has  offered  Lord  Melbourne 
seats  in  the  Cabinet  for  himself,  the  two  Grants,  Lord  Palmer- 


ston,  and  any  fifth  person  whom  they  may  name,  except 
Huskisson.  But  Huskisson  is  the  strength  of  that  party.  On 
the  other  hand,  I  hear  of  what  seems  to  be  an  impossible 
approximation  between  Lord  Grey,  Brougham,  and  the  Duke 
of  Newcastle.  It  is  a  comfort  to  look  at  these  things,  and  wait 
for  the  event,  without  caring  a  straw  how  it  may  turn  out, 
in  the  sad  conviction  that  weakness  on  one  side  is  working  for 
the  same  end  as  wickedness  on  the  other ;  and  the  sure  conso- 
lation that  Providence  will  bring  about  its  own  purposes  at 
last.  "What  those  may  be,  you  and  I  shall  know  when  we  are 
in  some  blessed  star.  If  I  knew  which,  I  would  purchase  the 
best  telescope  that  this  house  could  hold,  and  look  at  it  when- 
ever it  was  to  be  seen.  And  if  you  and  I  had  such  wings  as 
we  shall  one  day  have,  dear  Caroline,  we  should  be  eager  to 
begin  our  flight  there. 

God  bless  you. 




BUCKLAND,  October  1st,  1830. 

The  ex-royal  family  have  been  associating  a  good  deal  with 
friends  of  mine  since  their  residence  at  Lulworth.  Lately  the 
Duchess  de  Berri,  her  children  and  suite  were  taking  luncheon 
at  my  friend's  house,  and  on  Polignac's  name  being  mentioned, 
the  Duchess  exclaimed,  Ah  le  traitre  !  nous  lui  devons  tons  nos 
malheurs.  I  hear  the  other  Duchess — Madame — says,  if  she 
were  to  meet  him  with  a  dagger  in  her  hand,  she  would  strike 
it  to  his  heart.  The  Duke  d'Angouleme's  hand  is  still  bound 
up  for  the  hurt  he  received  in  it  on  catching  at  the  blade  of 
Marmont's  sword  during  their  altercation  at  Rambouillet. 

Princess  Polignac  was  a  playfellow  of  mine  when  we  were 
both  girls,  a  daughter  of  Lord  RanclinVs.  Poor  woman  !  I 


fear  her  weak  and  guilty  husband  and  his  colleagues  will  pay 
the  extreme  penalty.  A  French  gentleman,  who  left  Paris  last 
week,  told  me  they  cannot  escape  the  infuriated  populace,  and 
that  any  attempt  on  the  part  of  the  king  or  government  to 
remit  the  punishment  of  death,  or  favour  their  escape,  would  be 
the  signal  of  another  Revolution. 

I  was  exceedingly  disappointed  to  find  the  name  of  your 
Brobdingnagian  lady  was  Miss  Koss,  not  Miss  C — ,  as  I  hoped 
it  was  on  reading  your  description  of  her  before  I  came  to  the 
cognomen.  A  certain  Miss  C —  is  stalking  about  the  land  with 
a  literary  pass,  shaking  people's  wrists  out  of  joint  and  over- 
whelming them  in  blue  vapour. 

So  the  last  leaves  will  have  fallen  before  I  see  you;  my 
first  impulse  was  to  be  very  much  disappointed  at  the  pro- 
crastination;  my  next — how  contradictory— almost  bordering 
on  satisfaction  that  I  should  have  the  cordial  of  expectation 
to  cheer  me  so  much  longer.  But  welcome  you  will  be  when- 
ever you  come  to  me.  And  so,  dear  friend,  "good  night." 
That  word  recalls  to  me  an  affecting  circumstance  relating  to 
a  little  cousin  of  mine  who  died  about  a  week  ago,  a  beautiful 
child  of  nearly  four  years  old.  He  had  been  long  perishing, 
and  lay  for  a  week  before  his  death  perfectly  insensible.  Just 
before  he  breathed  his  last,  the  child  unclosed  his  eyes,,  and 
looked  round  at  his  mother  and  his  mother's  sister,  who  were 
watching  by  him.  He  smiled  in  their  faces,  stretched  out  his 
arms  and  said,  "  Good  night,  mamma ;  good  night,  aunt  Caro- 
line ;  good  night  all ;  now  I  go  to  sleep  " — and  so  blessedly 
expired.  His  sensations  must  have  been  those  of  sinking  into 
sweet  slumber.  Happy  child  ! 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 





LONDON,  November  3rd,  1830. 

Here  I  am,  dear  Caroline,  three  hundred  miles  nearer  to 
Buckland  than  I  was  this  day  week.  I  arrived  on  Monday 
night,  and  yesterday  for  the  first  time  heard  a  debate  in  the 
House  of  Commons.  Here  I  shall  stay,  and  work  hard  as  long 
as  Parliament  continues  sitting,  and  then  make  my  way  to  you, 
with  the  intent  of  proceeding  into  Devonshire  and  returning 
home  by  way  of  Bristol. 

I  am  too  busy  and  too  weary  to  say  more  at  present,  being 
just  returned  from  a  four-hours'  round  of  calls.  Only  I  must 
not  omit  saying  that  your  story  of  the  child's  death  is  one  of 
the  most  touching  I  ever  met  with;  and  that  I  have  fallen 
in  with  a  certain  Miss  K — ,  who  is  a  namesake  of  yours  and  is 
called  by  her  friends  the  Caroline.  A  most  comical  person  she 
is.  She  had  the  greatest  dislike  to  seeing  me,  but  a  strong 
wish  withal  to  see  my  cats.  But  there  was  a  peculiar  expression 
about  her  mouth,  which  (though  she  is  very  ugly)  reminded  me 
strongly  of  another  Caroline.  So  I  took  her  into  my  graces  at 
once,  and  she  took  me  into  hers ;  and  then,  having  made  her 
previous  arrangements  in  fear  of  me  not  to  stay  more  than  one 
night  at  Keswick,  she  went  away  confessing  that  she  had  been 
very  foolish  and  very  piggish  (they  were  her  own  words),  and 
wishing  she  could  have  remained  longer  to  becomejbetter  ac- 
quainted with  the  cats  and  with  me. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 





NEW  PALACE  YARD,  November  10th,  1830. 

I  do  not  wonder,  dear  friend,  that  the  state  of  affairs  should 
appear  more  formidable  to  you  at  a  distance  than  it  does  to  me 
upon  the  spot.*  There  has  been  just  danger  enough  to  excite  a 
very  wholesome  and  necessary  fear.  The  remnant  of  Thistle- 
wood's  desperadoes  are  at  work.  I  believe  that  the  intention 
was  to  murder  the  king,  as  well  as  the  Duke,  and  to  set 
London  on  fire,  and  I  know  there  was  a  plan  for  massacring  the 
new  policemen.  The  streets  on  Monday  and  Tuesday  were 
crowded  with  a .  set  of  dirty,  resolute-looking  men,  evidently 
collected  for  some  purpose,  a  great  part  of  them  not  being 
Londoners,  but  from  Manchester  and  other  such  hotbeds  of 
mischief.  I  should  have  been  struck  both  by  their  appearances 
and  their  extraordinary  numbers,  even  if  I  had  not  had  to  make 
my  way  among  them  with  a  cheque  for  £100  in  my  pocket  into 
Coutts's  bank,  and  to  come  out  of  it  with  the  bills.  However, 
I  brought  them  safely  home,  and  slept  very  soundly,  though  the 
last  thing  which  I  saw  was  a  strong  body  of  police  drawn  up 
under  the  front  windows.  The  military  preparations  were  most 
extensive,  and,  I  am  told,  excellently  arranged ;  but  they  were 
wisely  kept  out  of  sight,  and  the  only  display  was  of  the  civil 
force.  There  are  6000  of  these  policemen,  and  a  more  respect- 
able or  efficient  set  of  men  no  one  could  desire  to  see.  The 
night  passed  over  without  disturbance  in  this  quarter ;  in 
others  the  police  (for  the  first  time)  made  their  bludgeons  felt. 
There  was  no  call  for  the  soldiers,  and  the  liberty-boys  to-day 

*  In  a  letter  of  November  8th,  Miss  Bowles  wrote :  "  My  dear  friend,  I 
am  so  panic-struck  at  the  aspect  of  the  times,  that  I  feel  as  if  I  longed  to 
draw  everyone  I  love  close  round  me,  that  the  same  fate  at  least  may 
involve  us ;  but  perhaps  those  who  listen  in  darkness  and  loneliness  to  the 
advancing  tide  may  be  apt  to  fancy  it  approaches  more  awfully  and  im- 
petuously than  it  does  in  reality." 


have  in  great  part  disappeared.  The  best  news  is,  that  the 
Government  is  supposed  to  have  obtained  a  clue  to  the  movers 
of  the  mischief,  and  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  incendiaries  are 
sent  out  by  this  knot  of  traitors. 

Some  of  the  many  warnings  which  the  Duke  received  came 
from  men  so  far  in  league  with  the  Kadicals  as  to  know  their 
worst  designs,  but  who  now  begin  to  tremble  for  themselves, 
when  open  rebellion  was  to  be  commenced  with  a  massacre  and 
with  firing  London. 

The  Duke  certainly  goes  out,  and  Earl  Grey  will  be  at  the 
head  of  the  new  ministry.  The  chief  places  in  the  House  of 
Commons  will,  it  is  supposed,  be  filled  by  Lord  Palmerston,  the 
Grants,  Stanley,  and  Sir  James  Graham.  Brougham  will  pro- 
bably be  Master  of  the  Eolls.  It  would  be  equally  difficult  for 
any  administration  to  stand  against  him  or  with  him,  so  great 
is  his  power,  and  so  little  his  discretion. 

I  had  scrawled  through  this  hasty  budget  of  news  pour  votre 
consolation,  as  the  landlord  at  Besancon  said  to  me  when  he 
assured  me  we  should  probably  be  robbed  or  murdered  in 
crossing  the  Jura  the  next  day.  This  I  could  not  do  in  time  for 
the  post,  but  have  been  writing  since  I  dressed  for  dinner,  and 
before  going  out  to  that  said  dinner,  for  which  my  stomach  is 
crying  out  loudly,  though  it  was  propitiated  three  hours  ago  by 
the  sacrifice  of  a  dozen  oysters.  It  is  at  Murray's  that  I  am  to 
appease  my  hunger.  You  see  that  I  have  neither  lost  my 
spirits,  nor  my  appetite.  No  man  sees  the  danger  more  clearly 
in  its  whole  extent,  and  no  one,  I  believe,  fears  it  less.  My 
trust  is  in  God's  mercy,  and  my  stand  upon  the  Eock  of  Ages. 

Farewell,  dear  Caroline.  I  shall  be  glad  to  find  myself  on 
the  road  to  Hampshire.  Bertha  is  on  her  way  hither,  and  will, 
I  hope,  arrive  on  Saturday  evening. 





LONDON,  November  20M,  1830. 

A  wet  afternoon  has  given  me  resting  time  enough  for 
writing  a  few  lines.  I  have  had  an  hour's  conversation  with 
the  Archbishop,  whom  I  have  known  some  ten  years,  and  with 
whom  Bertha  (to  her  great  dismay)  and  I  are  to  dine  on 
Wednesday  next.  He  is  less  pleased  with  the  entrance  of  the 
Whigs  than  I  am,  for  I  expect  most  fully  that  before  twelve 
months  have  expired  they  will  furnish  materials  for  a  book  to 
be  entitled  "  Grod's  Revenge  against  Liberalism  and  Whig- 

After  this  visit  I  went  with  Telford  and  Eickman  to  see  the 
filter  by  which  Thames  water  is  purified  for  those  who  do  not 
(like  Eickman)  prefer  it  in  its  unclean  state.  Odd  as  you  may 
think  it,  there  are  many  who  do.  It  makes  better  tea  and 
better  beer  because  of  its  impurity.  You  and  I  should  agree  in 
disregarding  this,  and  choosing  the  cleaner  beverage ;  but,  after 
all,  water  that  requires  no  cleaning  is  best,  such  as  I  have  at 
Keswick,  and  you  at  Buckland. 

Half  the  magistrates  ought  to  be  hanged  for  cowardice.  The 
farmers  are  either  frightened,  or  in  league  with  the  labourers 
against  the  Church  and  the  landlords  :  they  will  even  effect  the 
desirable  object  of  bringing  the  Whigs  to  their  senses,  and 
curing  those  persons  who  have  been  long  employed  in  abusing 
the  Government  that  protected  them. 

It  is  growing  too  dark  and  too  late  for  writing  more.  The 
first  quiet  I  shall  have  will  be  when  I  reach  Buckland.  Alarm- 
ing as  it  must  seem  to  have  such  troops  of  beggars  at  your  door, 
you,  who  have  no  farm,  are  safe,  and  effectual  force  must 
speedily  be  employed. 

God  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 




BTJCKLAXD,  November  21th,  1830. 

If  the  present  state  of  things  goes  on,  dear  friend,  your  in- 
tended visit  to  me  must  be  relinquished,  or  you  will  pay  it  at 
some  peril  to  yourself,  for  this  county  is  even  in  a  more  serious 
state  of  disturbance  than  you  read  of  in  the  papers  ;  and  it  has 
reached  us,  though  as  yet  our  moles  are  only  local  ones,  and 
though  the  most  worthless  and  least  distressed  of  the  population 
are  hitherto  so  obliging  as  to  be  content  with  having  everything 
conceded  to  them  before  they  have  half  spoken  their  demands. 
What  I  now  see  in  this  neighbourhood  explains  to  me  proceed- 
ings in  other  counties  ;  and  while  I  feel  sure  that  the  least  show 
of  determined  resistance  to  intimidation  would  quell  the  first 
indications  of  riot,  I  see  that  all  is  lost  and  everything  to  be 
feared  from  the  indiscretion  and  pusillanimity  of  those  who 
should  stand  forward.  However,  when  the  men  are  all  cowards 
it  is  high  time  the  women  should  pluck  up  heart,  so  I  have  put 
by  my  cowardice  till  there  are  men  in  the  land  again.  We 
have  as  yet  had  no  fires  nearer  than  Southampton.  But  many 
threatening  letters  are  received — night  watches,  &c.,  are  estab- 
lished, and  a  most  extraordinary  measure  resorted  to  here — 
all  the  smugglers  with  their  chief  captain  of  this  coast  called 
in  and  organised  to  act  in  our  defence  with  the  Preventive 
Service  men !  If  "  Poverty  makes  a  man  acquainted  with 
strange  bedfellows,"  insurrection  creates  strange  combinations. 
Then  the  male  population  is  converted,  as  in  other  places,  into 
special  constables — two-thirds  of  them  on  condition  that  they 
shall  not  be  obliged  to  act  unless — what  do  you  think  ? — unless 
they  like  it !  and  I  have  not  the  slightest  doubt  that  six  old 
women  might  rout  the  whole  posse  with  their  bodkins  and 
knitting-needles.  At  a  meeting  of  magistrates,  gentlemen, 
and  farmers,  assembled  the  other  day  in  the  Town  Hall,  the 
sight  of  a  pitiful  village  mob  marching  towards  them  frightened 

p  2 


them  so  heartily  that  some  poked  their  heads  out  of  window 
to  promise  everything,  before  anything  was  asked,  and  one 
magistrate,  taking  courage  to  address  them  from  the  doorway, 
began  in  his  trepidation — "  Gentlemen !  "  then  he  stopt,  and 
opened  his  speech  rather  more  appropriately ;  but  knowing  him, 
I  only  wonder  he  had  not  burst  out  in  his  agitation  with 
"  Friends !  Romans !  countrymen,  lend  me,"  &c.  It  would 
have  answered  very  well  I  am  sure,  and  have  been  quite  as 
beneficial  to  the  community  as  what  he  did  say.  The  ringleader 
of  that  band  of  mobbers  was  so  kind  as  to  stop  at  my  door  on  his 
triumphant  way  back,  and  volunteer  a  detail  of  their  successes, 
not  forgetting  to  dwell  with  great  compassion  on  having 
"frightened  the  poor  gentlemen  terribly."  If  these  proceed- 
ings are  samples  of  those  in  other  places  and  counties,  who  can 
be  surprised  that  we  are  now  under  mob  law  ? — yet  bad  as  this 
is,  I  should  not  feel  much  apprehension  were  it  not  for  the 
travelling  mob,  of  near  2000,  perambulating  the  county,  actu- 
ally sacking  and  plundering  houses,  as  well  as  people  on  the 
high  road.  The  carriers  coming  in  here  to-day  through  Fording- 
bridge  describe  that  place  as  having  the  appearance  of  having 
been  sacked  and  pillaged — which  in  fact  it  has  been  in  great  de- 
gree. The  Cootes  of  Westcourt,  near  Fordingbridge,  defended 
their  house  gallantly  with  only  six  men,  drove  off  the  rioters, 
but  poor  young  Coote  is  badly  wounded.  An  express  came  in 
here  yesterday  for  help  for  Lord  Cavan  at  Fawley,  eleven  miles 
from  hence.  How  he  has  fared  I  know  not ;  but  the  vagrant 
mob,  as  it  may  be  called,  really  a  fearful  one,  made  up  of  all 
sorts  of  vagabonds,  was  at  Hythe  yesterday  near  2000  strong 
— twelve  miles  from  here — no  agreeable  neighbourhood ;  and  I 
beg  you  will  be  a  little  concerned  for  me,  though  I  cannot 
afford  to  be  afraid  myself.  I  had  felt  very  safe  from  our  mob, 
from  my  insignificance,  but  it  has  oddly  happened  that  I  have 
as  yet  been  the  only  individual  in  this  immediate  neighbourhood 
who  has  had  cause  for  rather  serious  apprehension,  the  cause  of 
which  is  now  happily  removed,  a  threshing-machine  in  a  barn 
almost  touching  my  premises,  which  the  owners  would  not  give 
up  and  which  the  mob  would  have  :  and  so  for  three  or  four  days 


I  have  been  receiving  warnings  (quite  full  of  good  will  to  me) 
from  various  quarters,  to  get  rid  of  my  neighbours,  or  it  would 
be  made  into  a  bonfire  with  the  premises  it  stood  in,  and  mine 
could  not  escape,  and  I  believe  verily  the  attack  was  delayed  for 
my  sake.  But  at  last  the  notice  was  imperative,  and  the  ob- 
stinate farmer  gave  up  his  machine,  and  it  has  been  torn  to 
pieces  this  morning — to  my  infinite  joy  ;  for  I  shall  now  go  to 
sleep  a  little  more  peacefully  than  I  have  done  for  some  nights, 
though  my  house  has  been  watched  by  the  night  patrols.  A 
charming  state  of  things  this  for  such  a  one  as  me ! 

It  may  be  sport  to  you  to  think  of  that  same  book  that  is  to 
be  "  God's  Revenge  against  Liberalism  and  Whiggery,"  but 
who  will  be  left  to  read  it  ?  Is  it  not  wonderful  that  a  stronger 
arm  than  the  civil  one  (Heaven  strengthen  it)  is  not  put  out  to 
our  aid  when  it  is  so  urgently  needed  ?  You  must  bear  with 
this  country  gossip  if  you  please  as  it  may  seem  to  you  at  a 
distance,  for  I  scorn  to  talk  of  fear  here  ;  and  as  there  is  a  good 
deal  pent  up  in  my  heart,  talking  of  it  to  you  acts  as  a  sort  of 
safety-valve.  One  very  odd  thing  I  must  tell  you :— all  the 
dogs  are  turned  radicals,  and  ought  to  be  reported  to  Govern- 
ment, Mufti  not  excepted.  Every  night  and  all  night  long  now, 
every  road  and  lane  is  perambulated  by  night  watchers ;  they 
come  into  our  premises,  close  to  doors  and  windows,  &c.,  &c., 
and  not  a  dog,  the  most  restless,  vigilant,  and  noisy,  ever  lifts 
up  his  voice  at  the  disturbance  in  the  faintest  yelp  or  bark.  I 
remarked  it  with  astonishment  in  my  own  dog,  and  on  mention- 
ing the  circumstance  several  gentlemen,  captains  of  the  night 
patrols,  told  me  the  silence  was  general,  and  greatly  puzzled 
and  surprised  them.  God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  Shall  I  see 
you  here  ?  What  may  not  happen  to  prevent  it !  But  I  will 
hope  the  best.  My  kind  love  to  Bertha.  Did  she  enjoy  her 
visit  to  the  Archbishop's  more  when  it  took  place  than  in  anti- 
cipation ? 




LONDON,  December  1st,  1830. 

You  have  a  good  heart,  dear  Caroline,  in  every  sense  of  the 
expression.  I  wish  I  could  disengage  myself  from  this  odious 
town,  put  myself  into  the  stage,  and  be  with  you  without  delay. 
Come,  however,  I  will,  as  soon  as  possible,  which  may  probably 
be  about  the  20th.  You  are  safe  now  that  the  threshing-ma- 
chine is  no  longer  your  neighbour ;  and  very  soon  we  shall  all 
be  the  safer  for  these  outrages,  out  of  which  good  will  come,  and 
is  indeed  already  coming.  Men  will  feel  the  use  of  a  strong 
Government,  and  that  the  way  to  possess  their  property  (be  it 
little  or  much)  in  peace  is  not  by  abusing  that  Government  and 
attacking  the  institutions  of  their  country.  The  Whigs  are  well 
frightened,  and  something  will  be  done  for  bettering  the  con- 
dition of  the  labourers,  and  providing  outlets  for  their  increasing 

I  am  going  to  the  levee  this  morning.  You  would  smile 
were  you  to  see  me  as  I  shall  be  two  hours  hence,  in  my 
brother's  court  dress,  which  hangs  about  me  like  a  "  capital  fit " 
from  Monmouth-street,  with  a  bag  at  my  head  and  a  sword  at 
my  side.  Inglis  takes  me  there  ;  and  time  and  case-hardening 
have  at  length  so  changed  me,  that  I,  who  was  once  one  of  the 
most  shame-faced  of  all  God's  creatures,  feel  myself  sufficiently 
at  ease  anywhere,  and  shall  go  to  St.  James's  as  I  would  to  a 

You  are  a  very  useful  person  to  me,  for  when  I  want  to 
make  a  lady  a  present  of  some  books,  I  always  order  some  of 
yours.  I  shall  not  be  so  fine  myself  in  bag  and  sword  as  a  set 
of  them  is  here  in  green  morocco.  I  am  interrupted,  so 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend, 




BUCKLAND,  January  18th,  1831. 

I  caught  a  franker  flying  this  morning,  and  you  have  told 
me  you  "  loved  my  letters,"  besides  giving  me  your  address  at 
Bristol  till  Saturday.  Three  indifferent  reasons  thus  put 
together  must  make  one  good  one  why  I  should  waylay  you 
once  more  before  you  reach  the  end  of  your  pilgrimage.*  Then 
I  shall  fall  again  into  more  discreet  habits ;  but  as  yet,  so  easily 
do  we  accustom  ourselves  to  what  we  like,  I  am  not  reconciled 
to  see  the  place  opposite  to  me  vacant,  and  to  feel  only  that  you 
have  been  here.  Writing  to  you  steals  me  from  myself  a  little 
while,  and  so  makes  you  the  means  of  keeping  me  out  of  ill 
company,  which  you  ought  to  rejoice  at  out  of  pure  philanthropy. 

Yesterday  the  shroud  of  vapour  which  has  enveloped  us  ever 
since  your  departure  was  drawn  aside  for  a  few  hours,  and  I 
ventured  out  on  Minikin,  but  quarrelled  with  him  as  well  as 
with  my  own  company  ;  made  him  go  at  a  rate  he  never  went 
before,  I  believe ;  and,  four  miles  from  home,  as  I  was  returning 
over  a  poachy  common,  fell  in  with  two  cavaliers,  Mr.  West 
and  Major  Eoberts,  who  were  so  condescending  as  to  form  my 
escort  home,  to  the  inexpressible  pride  of  Minikin,  who  capered 
along  between  their  great  tall  horses  in  a  way  that  would  have 
made  you  laugh ;  but  I  could  willingly  have  dispensed  with  my 
guard  of  honour — for,  first,  it  was  a  great  trouble  to  talk  to 
them,  mounted  on  such  eminences  above  me ;  next,  I  was  in  no 
humour  for  talking  to  anybody — within  reach  ;  and  thirdly,  the 
chargers  on  either  side  bespattered  me  with  mud  from  head  to 
foot ;  and  so  I  rode  home,  moralising  on  the  axiom,  that  for 
small  people  there  is  more  to  be  risked  than  gained  in  approxi- 
mation with  great  ones. 

One  of  my  esquires,  the  M.P.,  Mr.  West,  told  me  he  did  not 
doubt  there  would  be  a  dissolution  of  Parliament,  and  the  same 

*  Southey  was  on  his  \vuy  back  to  Kcswick,  after  a  visit  to  Buckland. 


opinion  has  been  expressed  to  me  from  various  other  quarters.  In 
a  letter  I  received  yesterday  from  MissEose,  she  mentions  a 
rumour  which  has  got  abroad  in  some  quarters,  that  Talleyrand's 
money  has  furnished  no  small  proportion  of  that  mysterious 
fund  which  so  surely  exists  for  the  worst  purposes.  Knowing 
him  to  be,  as  he  is,  the  worthy  son  of  the  "  father  of  all  lies  " 
and  all  mischief,  I  should  give  more  credit  to  this,  were  it  not 
matter  of  notoriety  that  the  ex-Bishop's  idol  is  gold ;  that  he 
has  no  abstract  political  principle,  even  in  favour  of  anarchy, 
and  would  not  risk  a  rouleau  to  revolutionise  England,  without 
being  sure  of  doubling  it  by  the  speculation ;  the  very  reverse  of 
which  must  result  from  our  national  ruin  if,  as  I  believe,  he  has 
large  sums  in  our  funds.  But  I  wish  he  was  out  of  the  country ; 
no  good  influences  can  emanate  from  such  a  traitor. 

I  send  the  little  poem  I  mentioned  to  you  on  wild-flowers, 
which  was  written  about  two  years  ago ;  and  another,  to  show 
you  that  what  little  power  I  had  then  is  gone  from  me.  I  told 
you  that  the  anecdote  of  little  Leonard's  death  struck  me  so 
forcibly  that  I  had  scarce  heard  before  I  tried  to  versify  it.  The 
impulsive  feeling  was  almost  as  strong  as  any  I  remember,  and 
strong  feeling  has  always  been  my  only  inspiration ;  therefore 
I  ought  to  have  composed  these  verses  as  well  as  it  would  ever 
have  been  in  my  power  to  have  done,  and  they  are  miserable, 
weak  common-places,  that  frighten  me  (do  not  laugh),  for  failure 
of  mind  I  cannot  think  of  without  shuddering — mistrustful 
coward  that  I  am !  If  we  could  but  love  and  trust  God  as  we 
can  love  and  trust  our  fellow-creatures,  what  peace,  "passing 
understanding,"  would  be  ours  even  in  this  world !  Such  peace 
is  yours,  I  believe ;  so  be  it  with  you  to  the  end,  and  God  grant 
it  to  me  before  the  end  comes.  I  have  fallen  into  too  serious  a 
mood  to  change  for  lighter  matters,  and  besides,  you  have  had 
enough  of  my  solitary  meditations  for  one  chapter.  So  good 
night,  dear  friend ;  God  bless  you,  and  bring  you  safe  to  the 
haven  where  you  would  be — your  own  happy  home. 

To-day  you  will  be  in  your  own  native  city.     I  hope  it  is  not 


wrapt  in  the  sea  of  dense  vapour  that  still  enshrouds  us,  but  that 
the  whole  beautiful  picture  may  be  as  clear  as  you  approach  it 
as  it  can  appear  through  that  "watery  film"  that  came  over 
your  eyes  at  Burton,  and  will  hardly  fail  to  cloud  them  when 
you  look  on  Bristol  for  the  first  time  after  a  lapse  of  years — so 
large  a  portion  of  mortal  life — such  a  speck  in  the  account  of 



KESWICK,  January  21th,  1831. 

Here  then  I  am,  dear  Caroline,  at  my  own  desk,  and  by  my 
own  fireside,  in  the  cheerfulest  room  certes  that  ever  author  had 
for  his  workshop.  I  arrived  on  Tuesday,  and,  except  a  few  lines 
to  Eickman,  inclosing  a  letter  from  Kate  to  Bertha  by  yester- 
day's post,  this  is  my  first  epistle  from  home.  Yesterday  was 
passed  in  putting  some  of  my  things  to  rights,  and  stowing 
away  the  books  which  had  arrived  during  my  absence ;  a  lengthy 
and  somewhat  too-early-timed  visit  from  Chauncy  Townshend 
cut  out  a  great  slice  from  the  morning,  and  left  me  too  short  an 
allowance  for  a  walk,  and  no  time  whatever  for  writing. 

My  journey,  saving  that  I  lost  my  beautiful  pencil,  by 
lending  it  to  a  person  with  whom  I  breakfasted  at  Dorchester, 
the  day  after  leaving  you,  was  prosperous  throughout.  Tuesday, 
"Wednesday,  and  Thursday  were  as  busily  and  perhaps  more  ex- 
citedly employed  in  Bristol  than  any  of  the  days  in  London.  I 
went  into  my  father's  house,  and  was  told  there  that  strangers 
had  more  than  once  gone  into  the  shop  to  inquire  if  it  was  my 
birthplace.  I  walked  to  Bedminster  and  got  admittance  into  my 
grandmother's ;  everything  has  been  changed  there ;  only  some 
trees,  principally  fruit  trees  of  my  grandfather's  and  uncle's 
planting,  are  remaining. 

Friday,  in  the  mail  to  Birmingham ;  a  wet,  warm  night. 
Saturday,  still  in  the  rain,  to  Shrewsbury  ;  Mr.  Warter  met  me 


there ;  he  is  a  country  gentleman  fond  of  fishing  and  shooting, 
more  fond  of  natural  history,  and  an  active  magistrate;  his 
wife  a  very  mild  and  pleasing  person;  both  altogether  such 
persons  as  it  is  fortunate  to  be  so  connected  with  as  I  am  likely 
to  be.  At  eight  on  Tuesday  morning  I  was  on  the  Keswick 
stage  ;  and  here  I  am,  thankful  for  having  safely  performed  a 
circuit  of  a  thousand  miles,  and  especially  for  finding  all  well 
after  thirteen  weeks'  absence. 

But  oh !  the  loads  of  letters  there  are  now  to  be  answered  ! 
To  this  task  I  must  now  betake  myself,  and  work  at  it  tooth 
and  nail. 

Will  you  tell  me  the  name  of  Levett's  house,  and  learn  for 
me,  if  you  can,  the  reason  why  the  salt  trade  has  declined  at 
Lymington.  To-morrow  I  hope  to  begin  my  Introduction.* 
Very  hard  I  must  work,  but  not  so  closely  and  unremittingly  as 
at  Buckland.  I  could  not  have  done  what  I  did  there  if  I  had 
been  alone ;  but  it  was  a  refreshment  to  talk  with  you,  and  an 
encouragement  to  show  you  piece  by  piece  as  it  was  in  progress. 
Cuthbert  thanks  you  for  the  asbestos  and  the  fern,  of  which 
he  is  very  proud.  And  my  Governess  thanks  you  for  taking 
such  good  care  of  me,  and  Edith  and  Kate  desire  to  be  most 
kindly  remembered. 

You  are  a  most  unreasonable  person  if  you  are  not  satisfied 
with  *  Little  Leonard's  Grood-night.'  It  is  what  no  one  but 
yourself  could  have  written.  I  should  like  you  to  relate  some 
incidents  which  suit  the  manner  in  your  own  sweet  blank- verse, 
in  simple  narrative  rather  than  in  a  lyrical,  which  is  a  more 
ornamented  kind  ;  it  would  be  worth  while  to  try  this  (which  is 
the  most  beautiful  incident  I  ever  heard)  in  such  a  form.  The 
Swedish  Miner's  Body  is  another  story  of  which  the  most  close 
and  faithful  picture  would  be  the  most  impressive.  But  I  must 
break  off. 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 


*  To  the  New  Colloquies. 



KESWICK,  March  8th,  1831. 

I  have  been  reading  for  the  first  time  Lord  Chesterfield's— 
Letters,  with  more  disgust  than  pleasure,  and  more  pity  than 
disgust.  Such  letters  must  have  defeated  their  own  main 
purpose,  and  made  the  poor  youth  awkward,  by  impressing  him 
with  a  continual  dread  of  appearing  so.  But  it  is  painful  to 
see  what  the  father  himself  was — not,  as  it  appears,  from  any 
want  of  good  qualities,  but  because  there  was  one  grace  a 
thought  of  which  never  entered  his  mind.  I  have  been  reading 
also  a  book  of  very  different  character — "Sermons  upon  the 
Application  of  Scriptural  Principles  to  Real  Life,"  by  Miller, 
who  sent  them  to  me  last  week.  They  are  of  the  very  best 
kind — plain,  practical,  full  of  divine  philosophy,  and  in  the 
most  Christian  spirit.  It  is  for  the  sake  of  such  principles  and 
such  men  that  this  Church  and  this  nation  are  to  be  saved,  if 
saved  they  may  be. 

To-day's  paper  tells  me  that  "Wynn  has  resigned  his  office, 
to  my  great  joy,  though  he  has  gone  much  too  far  with  the  vile 
party  who  are  now  in  power.  I  can  tell  you  that  the  ministers 
altered  their  plan  of  reform,  so  as  to  make  it  very  much  more 
radical  than  they  had  designed,  only  two  or  three  days  before 
they  brought  it  forward.  And  it  is  believed  that  they  did  this 
because,  foreseeing,  from  the  fate  of  their  budget,  that  they 
could  not  long  continue  in  office,  they  chose  to  go  out  in  a 
blaze — rather  in  a  stink.  A  villainous  motion,  but  perfectly 
worthy  of  that  party  and  that  cause ;  they  wish  to  leave 
affairs  in  the  worst  possible  state  for  those  who  are  to  succeed 
them,  and  to  prepare  for  themselves  active  allies  among  the 
Radicals.  It  would  not  much  surprise  me  if  the  Grants  were 
to  do  as  Wynn  has  done ;  for  their  own  sake  I  might  wish  it. 
But  a  Conservative  ministry  will  be  better  without  them. 

March  llth. — And  without  them  it  will  be,  for  Robert 
Grant  has  spoken,  and  chosen  the  evil  part. 


If  you  write  to  your  Marquis,  will  you  ask  him  in  what 
repute  the  St.-Simonists  are,  and  whether  their  system  has  any 
perceptible  effect  upon  their  manners,  or  whether  they  are  as 
profligate  as  the  rest  of  the  world  in  which  they  live  ?  I  am 
reading  the  Exposition  of  their  doctrine,  which  is  written  with" 
very  great  ability.  As  yet  I  have  not  been  able  to  get  any 
satisfactory  history  of  St. -Simon  himself.  Now  the  life  of  the 
founder  enters  materially  into  the  view  of  a  new  religion. 
What  he  was  I  have  no  means  of  judging,  but  his  disciples 
seem  to  be  deliberately  endeavouring  to  establish  ^,  new  social 
order  upon  the  basis  of  a  pretended  revelation,  so  reasonable  in 
all  its  parts  as  to  preclude  any  pretence  of  delusion  or  en- 
thusiasm in  them. 

These  men  seem  to  me,  having  no  religion  themselves,  to 
perceive  that  some  religion  is  necessary  for  society ;  to  suppose 
that  Christianity  is  worn  out  because  the  French  have  very 
generally  thrown  it  off  in  the  only  form  in  which  it  was  known 
to  them ;  to  be  aware  that  Theophilanthropism,  which  was  tried 
under  the  Directory,  failed  for  want  of  a  foundation ;  and  to  be 
trying  certainly  the  boldest  experiment  that  has  been  attempted 
since  the  time  of  Mahomet,  or  of  Manes.  Whereas,  if  they 
knew  what  the  Grospel  is,  they  might  see  that  by  it,  and  only 
by  it,  the  good  at  which  they  aim  is  to  be  effected. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  And  observe,  let  not  your  next 
letter  be  wickedly  short. 




KESWICK,  March  26^,  1831. 

The  next  Quarterly  Review  will  contain  a  history  of  Ba- 
boeuf  s  conspiracy,  on  which  I  am  now  at  work,  and  the 
St.-Simonists  will  come  in  the  number  after.  No  two  subjects 
could  be  better  timed ;  for  you  must  know  that  this  new  sect  is 


aiming,  by  means  of  their  new  revelation,  to  bring  about  what 
Baboeuf  was  for  getting  by  spoliation  and  massacre. 

I  do  not  know  who  wrote  the  paper  on  Reform.  I  am 
much  obliged  to  Mr.  Fripp  for  his  expressions  of  civility.  As 
for  private  attentions,  I  should  only  have  had  too  many  of 
them  had  my  stay  in  Bristol  been  longer,  or  my  being  there 
more  generally  known.  But  for  public  marks  of  respect  there 
was  but  one  which  could  have  been  shown  to  me ;  and  though 
it  would  have  annoyed  me  very  much  at  the  time,  this  Reform 
Bill,  oddly  enough,  makes  me  wish  that  it  had  been  offered — 
you  will  guess  that  I  mean  the  freedom  of  the  city.  If  they 
had  presented  me  with  this  the  Reform  Bill  would  have  taken 
it  away,  and  upon  that  ground  I  would  have  sent  up  a  petition 
solitary  against  the  Bill  in  divesting  me  of  what  had  been  thus 

April  1th. — An  American  lady  is  lodging  in  Keswick,  who 
introduced  herself  to  me  five  or  six  years  ago  by  two  little 
volumes  of  poetry  and  by  a  most  wild  letter — certainly  the 
strangest  letter  I  ever  received.  She  has  now  accompanied  her 
brother  to  Europe,  and  while  he  is  travelling  about  on  his  mer- 
cantile business,  she  thought  Keswick  would  be  a  good  place  in 
which  to  await,  and  accordingly  here  she  came,  with  a  longish 
poem  which  she  wants  to  publish,  but  for  which  she  can  find 
no  publisher.  Her  name  is  Mrs.  Brooks.*  She  was  betrothed 
to  an  old  man  at  the  age  of  fourteen,  and  married  him  at  six- 
teen !  And  now,  when  she  does  not  appear  to  be  more  than 
two  or  three  and  thirty,  she  has  one  son  in  business  in  the  Isle 
of  Cuba,  and  another  at  a  military  academy  in  the  United 
States.  She  is  a  very  mild  and  pleasing  woman,  to  our  utter 
astonishment  at  finding  her  so,  as  it  would  be  to  yours  had  you 
seen  her  letter. 

Her  poem  is  very  fanciful,  and,  on  the  whole,  beautifully 
written.  The  subject  is  like  the  story  of  Tobias — the  love  of  a 
fallen  angel  for  a  Jewish  girl.  I  believe  she  means  to  leave  it 
in  my  hands,  in  the  hope  of  its  getting  into  the  press  at  some 

*  "  Maria  del  Occidentc,"  author  of  Zophiel. 


time  or  other.  But  by  what  I  have  seen  of  it,  it  would  in  somo_ 
places  require  cooling,  and  if  it  should  be  necessary  for  me  to 
let  her  know  this,  you  may  suppose  that  I  shall  be  in  a  state 
which  novelists  might  call  delicate  embarrassment;  yet  you 
could  not  help  liking  her  were  you  to  see  her — not  for  beauty, 
nor  for  any  other  attractiveness  than  what  proceeds  from  a 
meek,  gentle,  unassuming,  unaffected,  kind  nature,  and  from 
perfect  simplicity  of  manners.  But,  in  truth,  the  longer  I  live 
the  less  am  I  disposed  to  trust  to  appearances,  whether  in  man, 
woman,  or  child,  or  to  speak  more  truly  (for  the  disposition  is 
not  easily  got  rid  of),  the  more  reason  I  find  for  not  forming  a 
hasty  judgment  of  them.  One  of  the  most  calm  and  rational 
and  sober-mannered  men  whom  I  ever  met  with  was  under  that 
exterior  a  most  dangerous  madman,  and  this  was  never  sus- 
pected till  it  was  brought  to  light  by  his  papers  after  he  had 
committed  suicide.  I  think  you  have  seen  his  two  anonymous 
letters  to  me,  asking  me  to  take  charge  of  those  papers. 

After  all,  I  like  those  people  best  who  seem  to  be  what  they 
are,  and  are  what  they  seem  ;  indeed,  they  are  the.  only  people 
whom  I  can  love. 

April  17th. — You  may  be  easy  about  the  Reform  Bill — the 
delusion  is  falling  as  rapidly  as  it  was  raised.     Its  manifold 
absurdities,  its  Whiggish  roguery,  its  abominable  injustice,  its 
contempt  of  all  constitutional  principles,  are  producing  their 
proper  effect.     All  my  letters  agree  in  this.     Even  those  who  a  1 
fortnight  ago  looked  for  nothing"  better  than  the  fall  in  the 
breach  are  now  ready  to  toss  their  caps  in  the  air  for  joy.     Out 
the  Whigs  will  be  driven,  and  with  more  ignominy  than  ever,    ] 
for  their  rashness,  their  folly,  and  what  I  cannot  but  call  their 
wickedness.     They  kindled  a  fire  which  might  have  set  the 
kingdom    in    flames,   but  will  now   suffocate   them   with  its  \ 

Here  is  a  song  which  I  made  at  my  usual  time  of  inspira- 
tion, while  shaving,  tempted  by  the  hero's  name  even  more 
than  by  its  merits.     I  sent  it  in  a  blank  cover,  and  in  Edith's  I 
writing,  to  John  JBull,  but  the  newspapers  are  afraid  of  this   • 
man,  and  so  it  has  not  appeared. 


Must  the  Gorman  Great  0 

Out  of  Parliament  go  ? 
Bad  luck  to  that  ugly  committee  ! 

If  out  he  should  call, 

And  then  shoot  them  all, 
There's  no  one  would  say,  "  What  a  pity  !  " 

My  patriot,  my  Paddy, 

My  mighty  big  Raddy, 
Och !  why  did  you,  why  did  you  bribe  ? 

In  the  county  of  Clare, 

The  grief  that  is  there 
I  cannot,  I  cannot,  describe. 

Och !  my  honey,  my  honey, 

It  was  not  for  money 
That  the  lads  of  the  Roman  communion 

To  Parliament  sent  you, 

But  with  the  intent  you 
Should  get  a  repeal  of  the  Union. 

All  Clare  gave  its  voice 

To  that  beautiful  choice 
That  the  sons  of  the  Saxons  and  Normans 

For  once  might  see  there 

What  true  Irishmen  were  ; 
So  we  sent  them  the  greatest  of  Gormans. 

He  soon  let  them  know, 

Did  the  Gorman  Great  0, 
That  he  was  not  a  man  to  be  mister'd, 

And  who  gave  him  offence, 

Upon  any  pretence, 
That  man's  tongue  might  have  better  been  blister'd. 

Och,  the  figure  he  made, 

And  the  shirt  he  display'd ! 
His  meaning  was  clear  as  a  crystal ; 

One  speech  (bless  him  for't!) 

In  the  very  report, 
Sounded  just  like  a  duelling  pistol. 

You  may  call  him,  I  say,  Gog, 

Or,  if  you  like,  Magog — 
D'ye  hear  me,  Sir  James  ?— if  you  dare  it ; 

But  demagogue,  no ! 

For  the  Gorman  Great  0 
Has  sworn  by  the  powers  he  won't  bear  it. 


Sir  James  and  young  Stanley, 

You'll  be  playing  the  manly 
When  he  stands  no  longer  before  ye  ! 

For  you  know  that  our  Dan 

Must  not  fight,  but  he  can, 
So  we'll  soon  send  him  back  in  his  glory. 

But  this  I'll  allow, 

You  may  spare  him  just  now 
For  awhile,  to  his  own  quiet  nation, 

For  by  what  I  hear  say 

You  are  in  a  fair  way, 
"Without  him  for  enough  agitation. 

You  ask  me  about  Sotheby's  "  Homer.''     I  have  not  seen— 
it,  nor  do  I  wish  to  see  it.    It  may  be  very  good  in  its  way,  but 
that  way  is  radically  bad,  and  no  one  who  has  any  real  feeling 
of  Homer  can  possibly  read  without  disgust  a  translation  of 
Iliad  and  Odyssey  in  couplets,  especially  in  modern  couplets. 

Cowper's  translation  is,  of  all  the  English  ones,  that  whichr^ 
least  disfigures  the  original.     Old  Chapman's  I  should  reckon 
next  to  it.     Hobbes's  is  marvellously  bare  and  bald  ;  Macpher- 
son's  impudently  Ossianized.     Sotheby's  I  daresay  will  be  less 
glaringly  unlike  than  Pope's,  for  Pope's  Homer  has  done  more— 
than  any,  or  all  other  books,  towards  the  corruption  of  our 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 



KESWICK,  May  2nd,  1831. 

We  shall  weather  this  storm,  though  it  is  the  fiercest  that 
has  ever  yet  assailed  the  country.  But  by  Grod's  providence 
the  devices  of  the  weak  and  the  wicked  are  counteracted  in  a 
great  degree  by  the  growing  prosperity  of  our  manufactures. 


which  extends  of  course  to  the  agriculturists,  and  will  continue 
till  the  Continent  recovers  from  its  revolutions.  Fear  not,  I  am 
in  good  heart.  Wordsworth,  who  was  here  yesterday,  said  it 
was  a  comfort  to  see  my  cheerful  face.  God  has  not  abandoned 
us,  and  will  not  while  there  are  those  who  trust  in  him,  and  act 
in  that  path  strenuously.  There  are  many  such.  I  am  assured 
that  the  tide  has  turned  among  the  youth  at  both  Universities  ; 
they  were  taking  the  wrong  course  two  or  three  years  ago  ;  they 
are  now  taking  the  right  one.  Many  indeed  of  the  rising  gene- 
ration have  received  their  bias  in  some  degree  from  Wordsworth's 
writings  and  from  mine. 

When  I  visit  you  next  you  shall  have  a  large  portion  of  my 
time,  and  I  will  not  bring  a  task  with  me  which  shall  keep  me 
tongue-  and  table-tied  like  the  last.  But  I  will  give  myself  a 
good  resolute  spell  at  poetry  there.  This  may  be  sooner  than  I 
like  to  think  of  at  present. 

Here  is  a  circumstance  which  would  do  well  for  poetry  in  your 
hands.  At  Roeskilde,  the  oldest  cathedral  in  Denmark,  Warter 
observed  a  fresh  garland  on  a  grave,  and  inquiring  for  whom 
it  was  placed,  was  told  that  every  Sunday  morning  a  daughter 
had  placed  one  there  on  her  mother's  grave,  for  thirty  years ; 
verily,  as  Warter  added  when  he  wrote  home  the  anecdote, 
"love  is  stronger  than  death." 

Now  have  I  three  things  more  to  say ;  first,  that  if  your 
Merlin  had  but  a  white  neck  his  portrait  would  just  do  for  our 
Knurry-murry-purry-hurry-skurry,  of  whom  a  mouse  might 
truly  say — 

"  It  is  a  green-eyed  monster  that  doth  mock 
The  food  it  feeds  on  "  ; 

but  who  is,  nevertheless,  the  gentlest  and  most  ladylike  of  cats, 
Secondly,  which  you  will  be  interested  in  hearing,  if  you 
do  not  know  it  already,  that  your  friends  the  Howitts  have 
taken  Mrs.  Wordsworth  into  their  house  in  a  most  helpless 
state,  when  she  was  completely  laid  up  with  an  attack  of 
sciatica  at  an  inn.  They  had  no  personal  acquaintance  with 
the  Wordsworths  before,  and  there  she  is  now,  and  her  daughter 
with  her. 


Thirdly,  which  of  all  things  in  this  letter  most  concerns  ine, 
there  is  a  certain  portrait  at  Buckland,  and  a  promise  concern- 
ing it  which  I  pray  you  not  to  forget. 

Mrs.  Brooks*  sailed  from  Liverpool  ten  days  ago.  The 
history  of  her  mind  I  can  very  well  understand.  She  was 
married  when  almost  a  child  to  an  elderly,  if  not  an  old  man, 
who  had  no  mental  accomplishments  in  any  degree  to  make 
amends  for  the  disparity  of  years.  She  was  passionately  fond 
of  poetry,  and  had  a  heart  full  of  it ;  he  thought  of  nothing  but 
his  affairs.  And  I  dare  say  she  has  always  been  dreaming 
what  a  happy  creature  she  might  have  been  if  she  had  been 
united  to  one  who  would  have  loved  her  as  she  could  have 
loved  him,  and  would  have  sympathized  with  her  in  her  intel- 
lectual enjoyments.  I  am  not  without  some  suspicion  that 
there  may  be  a  little  flightiness  about  her ;  her  eyes  had  an 
expression  which  looked  that  way,  and  I  think  the  letter  of 
which  you  heard  would  not  have  been  written  had  she  been 
mistress  of  herself  at  that  time.  The  more  we  saw  her,  the 
better  we  liked  her,  and  her  brother  seemed  to  be  a  thoroughly 
good  sort  of  man,  a  Quebec  merchant  well  informed  for  his 
station,  and  right-minded  upon  all  subjects.  You  icouM  have 
liked  her,  and  could  not  have  helped  liking  her. 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 




BUCKLAND,  July  8th,  1831. 

You  are  at  home  long  before  this  I  hope,  dear  friend,  because 
it  is  "the  haven  where  you  would  be  " — and,  though  out  of  my 
turn,  I  am  fain  to  write  to  you,  because  I  am  heavy-hearted,  for 

*  "  Maria  del  Occidente." 


which  writing  to  you  is  always  my  second  best  medicine ;  and 
now  in  particular,  as  I  am  sad  at  thought  of  parting  with  dear 
friends  (the  Levitts)  whose  final  departure  from  Hampshire 
draws  very  near,  I  turn  impulsively  to  one  whose  correspond- 
ence only  I  would  not  exchange  for  personal  intercourse  with 
any  other  human  being,  and  who  has  led  me  by  his  hopeful 
spirit  to  look  forward  with  more  confidence  and  comfort  than 
my  weaker  mind  might  have  dared  encourage  to  the  renewal 
and  perfecting  in  a  better  life  of  friendships  contracted  here  in 
holiness  of  heart,  and  so  faithfully  enduring  to  the  end.  How 
should  I  bless  you,  if  it  were  only  for  strengthening  me  in 
this  blessed  hope !  I  cling  to  it,  as  a  shipwrecked  creature  to 
the  life-boat. 

I  have  been  furnished  with  another  pretence  for  writing  to 
you  by  a  request  which  has  been  addressed  to  me  to  be  passed 
to  you,  but  one  so  absurd,  in  my  opinion,  that  I  have  made  no 
promise  of  gravely  preferring  it,  or  any  hope  of  a  favourable 
hearing.  It  is  the  petition  of  the  Miss  Eoses  (Sir  Greorge's 
daughters)  that  I  would  contribute  to  a  miscellaneous  volume 
about  to  be  compiled  and  published  for  the  benefit  of  the  starv- 
ing Irish,  and  that  I  would  use  all  my  influence  and  interest 
with  Mr.  Southey  to  prevail  on  him  to  do  the  same.  So  I  have 
said  all  I  engaged  to  say,  which  is  the  utmost  stretch  of  my  com- 
plaisance, for  I  cannot  afford  a  line  of  rhyme  or  prose  to  this 
very  well  intended  but  very  ridiculous  joint-stock  affair — a  book 
now  to  be  got  together,  printed  and  published,  for  so  urgent  and 
immediate  a  purpose  as  that  assigned !  You  are  much  better 
natured  than  I  am — will  you  give  something  ? 

I  think  your  friend  the  venerable  Dr.  Bell  is  no  better  than 
an  impostor,  drags  you  out  of  your  den,  at  great  inconvenience 
to  yourself,  to  confer  with  him  (I  thought  on  his  death-bed) 
about  testamentary  dispositions,  &c.,  &c.,  and  then,  what  do  I 
hear,  but  that  the  dying  man  starts  off  with  a  Cheltenham  party 
(a  picnic  I  suppose),  to  show  you  to  the  Cheltenhamites,  and  to  you 
ostensibly  the  source  of  the  Thames  ?  And  at  the  Doctor's  you 
fell  in  with  my  lively  and  clever  acquaintance,  Miss  Alicia  Allen, 
whose  father's  house  is  the  great  lion  trap  of  Cheltenham — and 

Q  2 


there  were  such  designs  against  you !  You  would  have  been 
obliged  had  they  caught  you  to  shake  your  mane  and  your  tail 
far  more  meekly  for  the  benefit  of  the  company  than  you  did 
here,  on  the  only  occasion  I  ever  proved  treacherous,  and  let  in 
the  Philistines  upon  you.  Miss  Alicia  Allen  says  you  frightened 
her  about  the  state  of  the  country.  Now,  you  being  the  only 
person  from  whom  I  have  heard  a  cheerful  word  on  the  subject 
for  the  last  six  months,  if  you  begin  to  despair,  I  shall  look  for 
the  worst. 

The  Levitts  desire  to  be  very  kindly  remembered  to  you ; 
they  have  let  their  delightful  house  for  five  years,  not  having 
succeeded  in  finding  a  purchaser,  and  depart  from  it  the  last  week 
in  this  month ;  I  wish  they  were  gone,  just  as  one  would  wish 
hanging  over.  I  will  not  suffer  myself  to  be  betrayed  into  any 
more  intimacies.  It  is  only  storing  up  pain  and  disappointment. 
I  used  to  comfort  myself  with  the  belief,  that  as  I  declined  in 
years,  I  should  become  (as  is  fitting)  less  morbidly  sensitive 
to  those  trials  of  the  affections  that  break  young  hearts,  but  I 
find  to  my  sorrow  it  is  quite  the  contrary  with  me — that  a 
young  heart  broken  is  not  irreparable,  but  that  an  old  one  early 
bruised  and  ill  repaired,  and  nobody's  care  but  the  owner's,  is 
easily  set  aching  by  an  ungentle  touch,  and  shrinks  to  the  very 
core  at  a  rude  one.  Such  is  not  healthy  feeling,  only  pitiable, 
but  Grod  cares  for  and  pities  all  His  creatures,  the  wisest  and  the 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  July  llth,  1831. 

My  visit  to  Cheltenham  was  as  useless  as  I  had  anticipated, 
and  as  melancholy  in  all  respects  as  it  could  be ;  but  I  was  not 


exhibited  there,  and  you  may  be  sure  that  I  did  not  exhibit 
myself.  I  went,  by  my  own  desire,  to  see  the  Springs,  and  two 
of  the  Allen  family  went  with  us ;  your  friend  was  not  one,  but 
she  called  on  the  following  day  with  her  father,  and  they  both 
seemed  likeable  persons.  As  to  alarming  them  :  I  thought  it 
quite  fitting,  in  political  cases  (whatever  it  may  be  in  medical 
ones),  that  people  should  be  made  to  understand  the  nature  and 
extent  of  their  danger  :  and  so  far,  it  may  be  very  likely  that  I 
alarmed  some  of  the  few  persons  with  whom  I  had  any  conver- 
sation at  Cheltenham ;  but,  to  them,  as  to  you,  I  spoke  with  a 
confidence  that  Providence  will  bring  us  through  these  dangers, 
if  we  do  not  basely  betray  ourselves. 

It  was  impossible  for  me  to  accept  the  trusteeship.  Poor 
Doctor  Bell's  first  concern  is  how  to  dispose  of  all  his  money  in 
promoting  his  own  system  of  education;  and  his  second,  that 
as  much  of  it  may  go  to  Scotland  for  this  purpose  as  can  be 
disposed  of  there.  After  giving  away  £120,000,  Three  per  cents. 
in  trust,  he  had  yet  to  direct  the  disposal  of  it;  and  on  my 
arrival  I  found  that  he  had  resolved  upon  dividing  it  into  twelve 
shares,  six  of  which  were  appropriated  to  St.  Andrew's,  and  four 
more  for  schools  at  Edinburgh,  Glasgow,  Aberdeen,  and  Inver- 
ness, which  four  may  be  considered  as  so  much  money  thrown 
away.  I  was  consulted  about  the  other  two  :  after  observing  that 
as  this  money  had  been  derived  wholly  from  the  Church  of  Eng- 
land, some  portion  of  it  ought  to  return  thither,  I  proposed  that 
one  twelfth  should  go  to  the  augmentation  of  poor  livings,  and 
the  other  (which  I  knew  was  the  only  means  of  obtaining  any 
favour  for  such  advice)  to  founding  one  of  his  own  schools  in 
every  parish  so  augmented.  By  vesting  this  sum  in  the  hands 
of  trustees,  it  might  have  been  so  managed  that  every  £200 
would  have  called  forth  as  much  more  from  Queen  Anne's 
Bounty,  so  that  forty  poor  livings  might  have  been  benefited  to 
the  extent  of  £400  each,  that  is,  from  £12  to  £20  a-year, 
according  as  the  money  could  be  with  more  or  less  advantage 
invested.  Well,  he  was  delighted  with  this ;  and  came  into 
it  with  so  much  earnestness  that  I  was  quite  affected  at  the 
thought  of  having  been  almost  the  accidental  means  of  bringing 


about  so  much  good.  But  the  next  day  he  changed  his  mind — 
schools,  schools  must  have  all.  The  newspaper  brought  an 
account  that  there  was  to  be  a  new  Boyal  Naval  Asylum ;  he 
puts  this  paper  into  my  hand  at  our  first  meeting  in  the  morning, 
and  writes  on  his  slate  "this  is  a  God-send."  Accordingly  one- 
twelfth  went  there,  and  there  remains  one  more,  and  the  eventual 
residue  of  his  property,  which,  I  suppose,  is  still  considerable,  to 
be  disposed  of.  I  mentioned  the  Clergy  Orphans'  Fund,  the 
Society  for  propagating  the  Gospel,  Bishop  Middleton's  College 
at  Calcutta,  or  a  like  institution  to  be  commenced  at  Madras; 
but  all  must  be  confined  to  schools,  and  the  schools,  if  possible, 
to  Scotland. 

I  mentioned  his  relations.  He  gives  his  only  sister  £400 
a-year  for  her  life,  and  nothing  but  the  most  trifling  legacies 
to  any  other  of  his  blood.  They  were  not  near  to  him,  he  said 
(on  his  slate,  observe,  for  he  has  totally  lost  his  speech),  they  had 
no  claim  on  him.  No  claim,  I  admitted,  but  a  reasonable 
hope,  a  reasonable  expectation,  where  there  were  none  nearer,, 
where  there  was  so  much  to  bestow,  and  where  the  law  would 
give  it  if  he  died  intestate.  He  wrote  "  My  discovery  is  my 
child."  "Yes,  sir,"  I  replied,  "it  is  your  child,  and  you  have 
taken  very  good  care  of  it ;  but  it  is  not  all  your  kith  and  kin." 
This  availed  nothing,  and  when  I  expressed  a  wish  that  some- 
thing more  than  £100  should  be  left  to  the  person  who  had  been 
most  useful  to  him  in  his  own  way — Mr.  Johnson,  the  master  of 
the  Central  School — a  shake  of  the  head  was  the  reply  ;  all,  all 
was  to  be  devoted  to  his  discovery ;  he  would  be  (on  the  slate) 
"  consistent  and  consecutive  to  the  last."  A  stranger  or  more 
melancholy  example  of  some  ruling  passion,  good  in  itself, 
becoming  evil  in  its  excess,  and  stifling  all  other  good  and 
generous  feelings,  can  hardly  be  imagined.  The  sister,  I  have 
no  doubt,  will  endeavour  to  set  the  will  aside.  I  endea- 
voured to  turn  this  to  some  use,  and  advised  him,  instead 
of  leaving  her  an  annuity,  to  make  her  residuary  legatee,  and 
give  her  something  of  which  she  might  dispose  to  her  relations 
after  her  death ;  she  would  then  be  satisfied,  and  thus  litigation 
would  be  prevented.  But  to  this  he  would  not  listen ;  very, 


indeed,  very  indignant  at  her  attempting  to  set  up  a  plea  of 
insanity  against  him.  I  represented  to  him  that  groundless 
as  this  is  (and  indeed  nothing  can  be  more  so)  and  perfectly 
untenable,  yet  something  must  be  allowed  to  her  surprise  and 
disappointment.  He  had  made  what  all  persons  must  consider 
a  most  extraordinary  disposal  of  his  property ;  many  would 
think  it  unwise,  and  it  was  easy  for  those  whose  expectations 
were  cut  off  by  it  to  fancy  that  insane  which  they  believed  to  be 
unreasonable.  All  that  I  said  was  taken  in  good  part,  and  all 
to  no  purpose.  But  I  suppose  that  my  journey  will  not  be 
altogether  as  unproductive  of  evil  as  it  has  been  of  good;  it  will, 
in  all  likelihood,  take  me  before  some  Ecclesiastical  Court  to  bo 
examined  as  a  witness  when  the  will  is  disputed.  Nor  will  it 
surprise  me  if  the  bequest  intended  for  me,  as  joint  editor  of  his 
works,  should  be  expunged  in  the  last  edition  of  his  will.  Be 
that  as  it  may,  I  shall  always  retain  a  lively  and  affectionate 
remembrance  of  him,  such  as  he  was  when  I  knew  him  first,  and 
for  many  years  afterwards — a  lover  of  children,  if  ever  man  was, 
from  pure  benevolence  and  kind  feeling  towards  them  ;  and  set 
beyond  all  men  in  the  pursuit  of  one  great  object,  and  devoting 
his  whole  thoughts,  his  whole  life,  his  whole  fortune,  to  it. 

Poor  Bowles !  I  have  seen  only  the  first  volume  of  his  Life  of 
Bishop  Ken,  and  sorry  I  was  that  I  could  not  review  it  without 
mortifying  him,  however  carefully  I  might  have  abstained  from 
noticing  the  faults  of  the  book.  But  to  have  written  Ken's  life 
as  it  ought  to  be  written  would,  in  its  effect,  have  been  the 
most  unkind  thing  I  could  have  done,  if  done  in  the  form  of  a 
review.  This  withholds  me  from  a  very  tempting  subject,  the 
more  tempting  because  I  claim  kin  with  Bishop  Ken. 

You  ask  about  the  Howitts.  The  Wordsworths  left  them  full 
of  gratitude  for  their  kindness,  and  full  of  liking  for  Mary. 
But  her  husband,  whom  they  might  otherwise  have  liked  much, 
though  never  quite  so  well,  had  the  Reform  fever  upon  him  so 
strongly  as  to  put  the  cloven  foot  of  Quakerism  offensively 
forward ;  not  when  Mr.  Wordsworth  was  there,  for  all  these 
people  would  as  soon  take  a  bull  by  the  horns  as  to  show  theirs 
eithor  to  Mr.  Wordsworth  or  to  me,  but  to  poor  Dora,  who  left  the 


room  one  day  when  he  had  been  exulting  on  the  near  downfall  of 
the  Church,  and  asserting  that  any  person  who  was  a  clergyman 
of  the  Establishment  must  be  either  a  fool  or  a  hypocrite :  this 
to  her,  when  her  brother  and  uncle  are  clergymen !  He  apolo- 
gised to  her  afterwards,  and  did  not  repeat  the  offence,  having 
been  well  reproved  for  it  by  his  wife ;  but  the  circumstance  shows 
what  these  sectarians  are  when  the  latent  spirit  is  brought  out. 

I  have  been  working  hard  since  my  return,  both  at  the 
Colloquies  and  at  the  Peninsular  War,  making  hay  while  the 
sun  shines — in  other  words,  making  good  use  of  the  interval 
between  reviewing  times.  At  this  season  I  have  seldom  less 
than  two  hours'  walk  (including  a  delicious  bath  in  the  Greta) 
every  day ;  for  if  I  were  disposed  to  stay  within,  Cuthbert  comes 
up  with  an  asking  countenance,  and  I  do  not  like  to  disappoint 
him.  Bertha  is  come  home  with  a  sad  debility  about  her  ;  her 
ankles  swell  and  disable  her  for  the  exercise  which  she  requires. 
If  they  had  not  the  happy  spirits  of  youth,  these  daughters  of 
mine  would  all  be  miserable  invalids:  and  of  course  I  cannot  but 
think  of  the  time  when  that  season  will  be  over,  and  they  may, 
too  probably,  have  less  cheerful  circumstances  about  them.  Their 
mother  is  better  than  she  has  been  for  many  years,  and  for 
that  I  am  most  truly  thankful. 

There  is  a  story  of  a  Spaniard  who  was  fond  of  cherries,  and 
whenever  he  ate  them  put  on  spectacles  to  make  them  look 
larger  and  finer.  I  do  this  with  all  my  enjoyments  of  every 
kind :  make  little  pleasures  into  great  ones,  and  put  on  dimi- 
nishing glasses  when  I  look  at  inconveniences.  Our  dangers  are 
to  be  looked  at  in  their  own  just  magnitude;  there  is  no  trifling 
with  them ;  but  this  way  of  mine  adds  largely  to  the  comforts, 
and  diminishes  in  the  same  degree  the  annoyances  of  life.  This 
my  children  seem  to  have  inherited  or  learned;  and  with  this 
true  worldly  wisdom,  and  that  better  wisdom  which,  prepared  as 
they  are,  time  will  surely  bring  with  it,  of  looking  to  the  next 
state  of  existence  with  a  constant  and  cheerful  hope,  they 
will  so  far  be  well  fitted  for  whatever  may  befall  them  when  I 
am  gone.  Anastasius  Hope  has  left  a  posthumous  book  with 
his  notion  of  heaven  in  it — the  most  preposterous  heaven  that 


ever  was  conceived.  We  are  all,  all  of  us,  men,  women,  and 
children,  good  and  bad,  of  all  sorts,  tempers,  characters,  and 
complexions,  all  to  make  up  one  great  human  being,  this  being 
the  ultimate  perfection  of  the  human  race !  Why  I  would 
rather  drink  ale  in  Valhalla  out  of  the  skull  of  the  Lord  Advo- 
cate Jeffrey  (he being  mine  enemy),  or  out  of  Thomas Babington 
Macaulay's,  if  his  be  the  larger  cranium  and  the  ale  be  good. 
No,  Caroline,  you  and  I  will  not  be  mixed  up  with  Anastasius 
Hope,  and  Solomon  and  all  his  wives  and  concubines,  and  the 
whole  courts  of  Louis  XIV.  and  Charles  II.,  and  all  the  monks 
and  nuns  that  ever  lived,  and  all  the  radicals,  and  all  the  Turks, 
Jews,  Infidels — nay,  not  even  with  all  deans  and  chapters  (if 
there  were  nobody  else),  and  all  dissenting  ministers,  and  all 
bazaar  ladies.  No,  no,  no  ;  it  would  be  no  heaven  for  you  and 
I  to  be  mixed  up  in  such  a  compound,  and  made  bone  of  their 
bone,  and  flesh  of  their  flesh.  We  shall  keep  our  identities 
there,  and  all  our  good  feelings,  and  all  our  recollections,  that 
either  are  or  can  be  made  instrumental  to  our  happiness,  and  we 
shall  lose  nothing  but  what  it  will  be  ease  to  part  with — 
sorrows,  and  frailties,  and  infirmities.  We  shall  not  lose  our 
own  very  selves,  nor  each  other ! 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend,  and  bring  us  both  (He  will  bring 
us)  into  that  blessed  state  in  his  own  good  time,  and  fit  us  for 
it  more  and  more  till  that  time  comes. — July  12th. 




KESWICK,  November  4th,  1831. 

Your  fit,  dear  friend,  can  have  been  nothing  more  than  what 
they  tell  you  it  was.  The  strong  are  far  more  in  danger  of 
paralysis  than  the  weak,  and  if  his  most  senseless  Majesty, 


King  William  IV.,  should  receive  what,  so  far  as  he  and  his 
Ministers  are  concerned,  would  be  the  proper  reward  of  his  folly 
and  their  wickedness,  you  may  live  to  see  a  Eestoration. 

Your  former  letter  did  not  reach  me  till  I  was  leaving 
Shrewsbury  for  Manchester,  on  Monday,  the  10th,  last.  I 
had  been  four  days  at  Cruck  Meole,  and  left  Edith  there  as 
happy  as  I  could  wish  her.  Mrs.  Warter  is  a  very  amiable 
woman,  and  loving  her  eldest  son  dearly,  was  perfectly  pre- 
pared to  love  her  intended  daughter;  and  as  both  have  no 
greater  pleasure  than  in  talking  of  that  son,  they  are  the  best 
possible  company  for  each  other.  Mr.  "Warter  was  as  kind  to  her 
as  man  could  be.  Dr.  Butler  told  me  that,  of  the  many  young 
men  who  had  been  under  his  care,  there  was  not  one  of  whom 
he  had  a  higher  opinion  in  all  respects  than  John  Warter. 
Perhaps  you  may  not  know  that  no  school  has  for  many  years 
been  in  higher  repute  than  his.  At  home  he  is  just  as  much 
beloved  for  his  disposition  and  his  moral  qualities,  so  that  so  far 
all  is  as  well  as  could  be  wished.  The  family  is  also  precisely 
in  that  station  into  which  I  could  have  chosen  to  place  her, 
had  the  choice  been  in  my  power;  for,  thank  Grod,  I  never 
desired  riches  either  for  myself  or  my  children.  Yet  you 
may  well  suppose  that  this  visit  was  not  likely  to  exhilarate 
me  while  it  lasted,  and  I  did  not  leave  Edith  there  without 
feeling  that  she  seemed  already  to  belong  more  to  that  family 
than  to  me. 

I  could  not  open  my  letters  till  I  was  seated  in  the  stage 
for  Manchester,  luckily  without  a  companion.  With  yours  there 
came  one  proposing  to  me  to  become  candidate  for  a  Professor- 
ship at  Glasgow,  with  all  but  a  certainty  of  success.  At  the 
same  time  I  had  the  news  of  the  decision  in  the  House  of 
Lords — enough  to  think  upon  while  I  was  travelling  alone. 

James  White  met  me  when  the  stage  arrived.  Tuesday  I 
stayed  with  him,  about  a  mile  from  the  town,  and  went  that  day 
to  see  the  railway  and  the  Collegiate  Church,  which  is  a  very 
fine  one.  Wednesday  was  the  day  of  the  meeting;  and  James 
White  being  frightened  by  his  clerk  with  the  apprehension  of  a 
riot,  and  taking  it  into  his  head  that  I  might  be  as  popular  in 


Manchester  as  Sir  Charles  Wetherall  at  Bristol,  would  not  let 
me  dine,  as  we  were  engaged  to  do,  in  the  town,  and  set  off 
from  thence  at  six  o'clock  in  the  stage,  but  carried  me  off  with 
his  brother  Charles,  who  was  likewise  bound  for  Keswick,  by  a 
circuit  round  the  town  to  Bolton,  where  the  stage  took  us  up. 
This  I  call  my  Hegirah  from  Manchester;  but,  in  truth,  I 
had  no  apprehensions  myself,  and  there  would  have  been  no 

I  will  make  your  verses  for  your  poor  musician  when  I  can  ; 
but  verily  I  could  plan  such  a  poem  as  Thalaba  more  readily 
than  those  stanzas  for  music. 

It  is  likely  that  the  first  volume  of  the  new  Colloquies  may 
be  published  first,  and  at  Christmas.  This  is  desired,  that  the 
question  of  Reform  may  be  brought  forward  there  in  time,  some 
great  change  being  now  unavoidable.  My  aim  is  to  make  it  as 
little  dangerous  as  we  can,  aud  I  see  no  way  by  which  this  can 
be  effected  but  by  giving  a  vote  to  all  who  pay  direct  taxes,  as 
householders,  and  rendering  that  concession  safe  by  allowing 
them  only  to  elect  the  ultimate  electors  from  persons  of  a 
certain  qualification. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 




BUCKLA.ND,  December  2nd,  1831. 

An  officer  with  whom  I  conversed  yesterday  told  me  he  had 
just  read  the  copy  of  a  military  statement  by  which  it  appears 
that  there  is  good  reason  for  supposing  the  Bristol  affair  was 
but  part  of  an  extended  plan  of  simultaneous  rising  between 
Birmingham,  Manchester,  and  other  cities,  together  with  the 
Merthyr  Tydvil  people ;  that  communication  has  been  ascer- 
tained to  have  been  carried  on  by  means  of  carrier  pigeons,  and 


that  the  quick  march  of  troops  upon  Bristol,  and  some  towards 
Merthyr  Tydvil,  alone  stopped  the  advance  of  an  immense  body 
of  the  latter  people  to  join  the  coalition.  These  last  were  so 
determined,  that  they  removed  all  the  boats  and  vessels,  to 
prevent  the  crossing  of  the  king's  troops,  and  endeavoured  to 
disable  a  steamer,  in  which  the  military  did  eventually  pass. 
If  this  statement  is  true,  there  has  been  a  coup  manque.  The 
Merthyr  Tydvil  men  would  be  fearful  auxiliaries. 

I  have  read  Moore's  Life  of  Lord  Edward  Fitzgerald,  with 
how  much  pleasure  and  disapprobation  you  must  understand, 
even  before  I  read  your  review  of  it,  which  did  but  coincide 
with  all  my  feelings.  Was  ever  such  a  lovable  creature — such 
a  beautiful  character  in  private  life  ?  But  from  the  first  what 
the  French  call  a  tete  exaltee — morbid  craving  for  excitement. 
His  marriage  with  Pamela  certainly  sealed  his  ruin ;  for,  how- 
ever tenderly  all  that  concerns  her  is  glossed  over  by  the 
Leinster  family  and  the  biographer,  all  the  Leinsters  were 
obliged  to  give  her  up  at  last,  so  discreditable  was  her  conduct ; 
and  the  woman  whose  common  coiffure  after  the  murder  of 
Louis  XYI.  and  his  family  was  a  crimson  handkerchief,  then 
the  reigning  Paris  mode,  cense  to  have  been  dipped  in  the 
martyr's  blood,  was  not  likely  to  have  acted  the  part  of  a  re- 
straining angel  to  her  unfortunate,  misguided  husband.  I  was 
charmed  with  the  tenderness  with  which  you  spoke  of  Lord 
Edward  whenever  you  conscientiously  could. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  December  llth,  1831. 

My  brother  tells  me,  what  I  felt  assured  of  before,  that  no 
house  could  be  better  situated  than  this  in  case  of  pestilence. 


No  doubt  the  cholera  will  make  its  way  over  the  island,  and 
nothing  can  be  done  but  to  await  it,  and  trust  in  God's  mercy 
for  our  own  protection.  "We  might  consider  ourselves  in  as 
little  danger  here  as  in  any  place,  if  it  were  possible  to  exclude 
vagrants  from  the  town,  the  common  carriers  of  all  infectious 
diseases.  I  am  one  of  the  Board  of  Health,  and  at  my  sugges- 
tion all  that  we  can  do  is  doing  to  prevent  these  miserable  pests 
of  society  from  being  harboured  here,  as  they  have  hitherto 
been.  Government  recommends  three  precautionary  measures, 
all  of  which  are  impossible — to  keep  the  poor  clean,  to  feed 
them  well,  and  to  lodge  them  in  spacious  and  airy  habitations ! 
The  sordid  squalid  wretchedness  and  the  brutal  depravity  in 
which  we  have  suffered  the  populace  to  remain,  without  the 
slightest  attempt  to  correct  either,  threatens  now  to  bring  upon 
the  nation  their  proper  consequences.  Yet  my  ever  hopeful 
temper  rests  in  the  hope  that  Providence  will  manifest  the 
whole  danger  to  us  as  a  warning,  and  then  avert  it. 

I  once  sat  in  the  next  box  to  Pamela,  in  the  Bath  Theatre, 
and  next  to  her,  on  the  second  row  of  the  one  box,  while  she 
was  in  the  front  seat  of  the  other.  There  could  not  be  a  better 
situation  for  seeing  her;  and  so  beautiful  she  was  that  I  think  I 
can  remember  her  face,  though  I  have  not  the  slightest  recol- 
lection of  Madame  Genlis',  who  was  much  more  an  object  of 
curiosity  to  me  at  that  time.  Pamela's  history  I  heard  at 
Christ  Church;  a  clergyman,  Jones  by  name,  was  the  person 
who  negotiated  the  business  with  her  mother.  The  circum- 
stances were  well  remembered  at  that  place. 

Lockhart  struck  out  from  that  reviewal  something  of  my 
own,  and  more  of  the  extracts  from  Lord  Edward's  letters,  which 
delighted  me  as  much  as  they  have  done  you,  and  he  did  not 
send  me  the  concluding  proofs,  to  which  I  meant  to  have  added 
something.  He  added  Lord  Byron's  sonnet,  which  is  anything 
but  graceful,  and  to  which  I  should  have  objected  on  other 

Has  the  useful  pamphlet  of  Gibbon  Wakefield  fallen  in 
your  way?  Nothing  could  be  better  timed  than  its  exposure  of 
the  character,  and  disposition,  and  strength  of  the  populace.  I 


have  no  doubt  that  what  you  have  heard  respecting  the  in- 
tended insurrection  in  other  cities,  as  well  as  in  Bristol,  is  true, 
and  it  is  no  new  design.  Some  ten  years  since,  at  the  time  of 
Hunt's  progresses  and  what  is  called  the  Manchester  massacre, 
the  news  of  an  insurrection  there  was  to  have  been  the  sequel  for 
a  similar  rising  at  Carlisle,  and  in  expectation  of  it  crowds  were 
waiting  for  the  arrival  of  the  mail.  This  I  was  informed  of  at 
the  time ;  and  in  this  danger  we  shall  always  be  till  a  radical 
reform  be  effected,  and  some  order  superinduced  upon  our  most 
imperfect  system  of  policy.  The  ministers  themselves  are 
heartily  frightened.  On  the  other  hand,  better  men  are  re- 
covering their  spirits,  whether  it  be  that  things  really  are  more 
hopeful,  or  that  they  have  become  accustomed  to  the  prospect  of 
unavoidable  evils,  which,  as  long  as  they  are  not  immediate,  we 
contrive  generally  to  consider  as  being  uncertain.  Both  causes 
probably  exist ;  but  the  letters  which  I  receive  are  less  gloomy 
than  they  were  some  little  time  ago. 

I  dare  say  the  business  at  Lyons  was  directed  t>y  some  of 
Buonarroti's  disciples.  "We  have  just  such  a  set  of  desperadoes 
at  home,  who  cover  themselves  at  present  under  the  name  of 
Owenites,  but  whose  intentions  are  sufficiently  disclosed  in  their 
journals.  The  St.-Simonites  had  their  missionaries  at  Lyons, 
and  they  on  such  occasions  are  like  the  Quaker  on  board  the 
merchant  ship,  who,  expressing  his  horror  at  the  intention 
which  the  master  expressed  of  running  down  a  small  privateer, 
concluded  his  speech  by  saying :  "If  thou  wilt  do  such  a 
wicked  thing,  starboard  a  little"  Just  so  would  these  men 
direct  a  mischief  which  they  had  not  directly  conspired  to 
bring  about. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 





KESWICK,  January  19th,  1832. 

Thank  you  for  your  inclosures,  which  arrived  this  morning. 
The  Whigs  would  smile  at  the  one  and  tremble  at  the  other. 
Irreligion  cannot  go  farther  than  most  of  that  party  (and  this 
I  say  advisedly)  would  very  willingly  go  with  it,  but  they  are 
desperately  afraid  of  radicalism,  and  indeed,  at  this  time,  very 
much  in  such  a  predicament  with  it  as  the  young  man  who 
raised  the  Devil  by  reading  in  Cornelius  Agrippa's  book. 

I  do  not  know  the  book  of  Lord  Clarendon  concerning  which 
you  inquire,  but  there  can  be  no  difficulty  in  getting  it  from  a 
London  catalogue.  Send  to  the  library  (if  you  have  not  read 
them)  for  D'Israeli's  Commentaries  on  the  Life  and  Reign  of' 
Charles  I.  Rogers  said  of  him  to  me  "  There's  a  man  with  only 
half  an  intellect  who  writes  books  that  must  live."  The  origin 
of  the  book  nobody  knows  but  myself.  I  knew  that  Dr.  Words- 
worth, in  consequence  of  his  inquiries  concerning  the  Icon 
Basilike,  was  collecting  materials  and  preparing  notes  for  an 
elaborate  history  of  that  reign;  and  knowing  this,  I  invited  some 
fit  person  (in  the  Quarterly  Review)  to  undertake  such  a  work, 
intending  this  as  a  call  to  him.  D 'Israeli  supposed  himself  to 
be  the  person  intended;  told  me  so,  and  went  to  work.  He  has 
in  consequence  brought  out  a  very  entertaining  and  very  useful 
book,  which  will  not  stand  in  the  way  of  another,  but  rather 
assist  in  preparing  the  way  for  it. 

Irving,  beyond  all  doubt,  is  insane.  Do  you  know  that  the 
St.-Simonists  are  sending  a  mission  to  England,  and  that  the 
Minister  of  War  in  France  has  sent  a  circular  to  all  the  general 
officers  directing  them  to  warn  the  soldiers  against  listening  to 
their  doctrine,  and  requiring  them  to  report  such  officers  and 
men  as  may  be  made  proselytes  ? 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 





KESWICK,  February  2lst,  1832. 

I  am  indeed  sorry  for  the  death  of  your  Minikin,  whose  like 
I  shall  not  look  upon  again,  and  whose  loss  to  you  is  not  to  be 
replaced.  Poor  fellow,  he  would  probably  have  lived  longer  if 
he  had  more  work  and  scantier  food,  for  too  much  prosperity 
agrees  neither  with  man  nor  beast. 

Many  pleasant  hours  have  I  passed  in  poor  Dr.  Bell's 
company ;  it  was  delightful  to  see  him  in  company  with 
children,  for  then  he  gave  himself  up  wholly  to  enjoyment : 
never  man,  I  verily  believe,  loved  children  more  thoroughly. 
But  when  he  was  alone,  or  could  get  any  person  alone  with  him 
from  whom  he  had  no  reserves,  then  his  discovery  possessed  him 
like  an  evil  spirit.  Two  thoughts  may  be  said  to  have  devoured 
all  others  in  his  mind — how  to  extend  that  system  of  instruction, 
and  how  to  keep  his  own  merits  as  the  discoverer  of  it  constantly 
before  the  public.  He  is  now  at  rest  from  it.  I  did  all  that 
man  could  do  to  bring  him  into  a  healthier  and  happier  state 
of  mind  as  long  as  there  was  any  hope  of  influencing  him, 
and  I  believe  that  for  many  years  there  has  been  no  person  for 
whom  he  entertained  a  more  sincere  regard ;  for  he  could  not  but 
approve  of  the  advice  which  he  never  followed. 

The  St.-Simonist  missionaries  in  England  have  written  to 
me,  complaining  that  I  have  not  done  them  justice,  offering  me 
their  books  for  my  further  information,  hoping  I  will  visit  them 
in  London,  and  saying  that  if  they  come  this  way  they  will 
knock  at  my  door.  I  have  returned  a  courteous  reply,  letting 
them  withal  clearly  understand  that  they  would  find  in  me  a 
determined  opponent  if  it  were  needful.  But  this  it  will  not 
be,  for  they  are  not  likely  to  make  proselytes  in  England.  I 
very  much  regret  the  loss  of  your  friend  M.  de  Custine's  letter 
concerning  them  and  their  founder. 


Rejoice  with  me  that  I  am  far  advanced  in  the  last  chapter 
of  the  War.  Next  week,  if  I  continue  well,  will  assuredly  bring 
me  to  the  end  of  it ;  and  then  to  other  work. 

The  bill  will  be  compromised  in  the  House  of  Lords.  Short- 
sighted men  think  it  better  to  pass  it  with  certain  alterations 
than  expose  the  Constitution  to  that  certain  overthrow  which  the 
creation  of  a  regiment  of  peers  would  produce.  They  are  griev- 
ously mistaken.  Violence  of  that  kind,  if  it  were  committed 
(and  it  is  by  no  means  certain  that  ministers  would  dare  commit 
it),  would  at  least  leave  the  old  peerage  without  dishonour;  but 
when  they  lose  honour,  and  give  up  the  ground  of  principle 
to  take  their  stand  upon  the  shifting  sands  of  expediency,  they 
deserve  the  fate  which  shall  overtake  them.  For  myself,  I  do 
the  best  I  can  while  I  see  the  worst,  and  I  keep  a  good  heart 
and  am  cheerful. 

G-od  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  March  19th,  1832. 

Your  long  silence  made  me  apprehend  that  you  were  ill,  and 
I  should  long  ago  have  written  had  I  not  been  urgently  em- 
ployed upon  the  ever  lengthening  task  of  finishing  the  Peninsular 
.  War.  You  will  not  wonder  that  it  is  not  yet  finished  when  you 
hear  that  it  has  overrun  my  estimate  by  a  full  hundred  pages, 
which  is  to  me,  as  far  as  profit  is  concerned,  pure  loss  of  time  ; 
to  the  bookseller  no  gain ;  but  the  book  will  be  much  the  better 
for  it,  and  therefore  I  grumble  not,  but  work  on  in  good  humour 
with  myself  and  my  employment.  Very  near  the  end,  however, 
it  is ;  in  fact  it  only  remains  to  relate  the  overthrow  of  the  Con- 
stitution by  Ferdinand,  whom  I  have  brought  to  Zaragosa  on 
his  way,  and  then  to  wind  up. 


The  seeds  will  grow  anywhere ;  there  is  not  a  hardier  flower 
in  this  country  ;  it  grows  and  flourishes  close  under  our  kitchen 
window,  where  the  flagstones  leave  just  room  for  it  between 
themselves  and  the  wall.  So  abundantly  does  it  flower,  and  so 
easily  spread  itself,  that  you  may  soon  stock  Hampshire  with 
yellow  poppies. 

Charles  Duveyrier,  or  — rice  (for  I  know  not  which),  and 
Gustave  d'Eichthal  are  the  two  Missionaires  Saint- Simoniem  en 
Angleterre,  who  addressed  a  joint  epistle  to  me.  They  have 
since  sent  me  a  small  parcel  of  pamphlets  to  my  brother's  house, 
but  no  letter  accompanied  it :  my  answer  had,  no  doubt,  damped 
any  hopes  they  might  have  entertained  of  converting  me.  I 
have  not  had  a  minute  yet  to  look  into  their  pamphlets,  but  I 
see  by  the  Times  that  there  are  schisms  among  them,  and  that 
one  party  declares  against  marriage  and  all  family  ties. 

You  will  see  that  I  broke  no  rule  in  noticing  Mrs.  Bray's 
book,  for  there  is  no  review  of  poetry.  I  have  only  told  what 
surely  is  a  touching  story,  and  answered  some  of  your  objections 
to  the  encouragement  of  such  persons.*  You  should  be  loath, 
you  say,  to  have  a  servant  so  qualified ;  perhaps  so ;  but,  Caro- 
line, if  you  had  hired  one  not  knowing  that  she  was  so  qualified, 
and  had  afterwards  discovered  her  qualifications,  how  should  you 
have  felt  then  ?  I  will  tell  you  :  she  would  very  soon  have  had 
a  place  in  your  esteem  and  in  your  affections ;  without  ceasing  to 
be  your  servant,  she  would  have  become  your  friend.  I  should 
be  right  glad  to  have  a  man-servant  in  whom  I  could  find  such 
a  companion  as  you  would  have  found  in  her.  Nothing,  I 
believe,  gives  a  foreigner  a  more  unfavourable  notion  of  the 
English  character  than  the  relation  yi  which  servants  stand  to 
their  employers  so  generally,  and  without  any  kindly  feeling  on 
either  side. 

But  when  you  ask  what  chance  there  js  for  Mary  Colling 
making  a  happy  marriage  in  her  own  station,  then  indeed  I 
candidly  reply,  that  in  that  station  it  is  better  for  anyone  (in 
our  disordered  society)  to  be  content  with  "single  blessedness," 

*  i.e.  as  Mar}'  Colling,  the  poetical  servant  of  Mrs.  Bray. 


and  more  especially  for  one  of  such  quick  and  imaginative 
sensibilities  as  she  evidently  possesses ;  for  though  she  has  no 
power  of  expressing  them  in  the  language  of  verse,  it  is  very 
evident  that  she  possesses  [them]  in  a  high,  and  perhaps  a 
dangerous,  degree.  Perhaps  her  gentle  blood  shows  itself  in 
her,  and  perhaps  it  will  keep  her  from  any  such  marriage  as  you 
allude  to.  But  the  possihilily  of  another  and  worse  danger  has 
sometimes  crossed  my  mind  when  speaking  of  her,  lest  some  one 
with  as  much  romance  in  his  heart  and  head  as  there  was  in 
mine  when  I  began  life  as  a  poet  should  fall  in  love  with  that 
sweet  countenance  of  hers,  and  this  should  end  in  a  marriage — 
not  so  unfitting  indeed  as  that  of  her  mysterious  grandmother, 
but  likely  to  be  quite  as  disastrous  in  the  consequences. 

At  present,  however,  no  creature  can  be  happier ;  and  her 
master  is  almost  as  happy — -a  strange,  eccentric,  thoroughly  good 
man,  who,  when  the  publication  was  determined  upon,  took  upon 
him  the  whole  cost  of  it,  so  that  she  receives  not  the  profits  but 
the  whole  produce.  The  Duke  of  Bedford  sent  £10  for  his 
copy.  Mary  is  now  collecting  all  the  traditions  of  the  neigh- 
bourhood for  Mrs.  Bray,  whom  I  have  set  upon  writing  all 
about  Tavistock.  A  very  entertaining  book  she  is  likely  to 
make  of  it,  and  a  good  deal  of  it  is  likely  to  be  Mary's  work. 

But  I  must  break  off,  though  I  have  much  more  to  say. 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 



BUCKLAND,  April  12th,  1832. 

When  next  you  write  to  me,  dear  friend,  do  tell  me  what 
you  know  of  one  of  your  frankers,  Mr.  Hyde  Villiers.  I  know 
he  is  son  of  the  great  government  defaulter,  nephew  to  Lord 
Clarendon,  sprung  from  a  race  of  courtiers,  and  himself  a 

R  2 


placeman ;  but  it  is  rather  puzzling  to  find  a  person  so  qualified 
brought  down  among  us  (a  perfect  stranger)  by  a  little  knot  of 
fierce  radicals,  who  have  set  the  place  in  a  flame,  to  canvass  at 
this  time  for  votes  against  the  next  election  after  the  passing  of 
the  Eeform  Bill.  I  should  have  liked  to  hear  his  private  and 
confidential  account  of  the  dinners  with  which  he  was  treated 
by  his  reforming  friends.  His  host,  a  half-pay  captain,  who 
turned  patriot  on  losing  all  hopes  of  promotion  in  the  army, 
from  his  mutinous  conduct  in  India ;  this  worthy's  brother,  our 
spiritual  pastor  (Heaven  help  us),  who  broke  open  the  church 
in  the  morning  to  set  the  bells  ringing,  in  spite  of  the  church- 
wardens ;  two  dissenting  ministers,  flaming  orators ;  an  infidel 
tallow-chandler ;  and  a  serious  tailor,  of  which  tailor  more 
anon.  But  do  tell  me  what  you  know  of  Mr.  Hyde  Villiers. 

Before  this  reaches  you  the  fate  of  this  country  will  be  in 
some  sort  decided  by  the  decision  in  the  Lords  on  the  second 
reading  of  the  bill.  It  is  an  awful  crisis,  and  so  Lord  Grey 
must  feel  it,  and  he  must  shrink  from  exercising  the  power  of 
creating  peers,  committed  to  him  by  the  infatuated  king.  But 
the  race  he  runs  is  neck  or  nothing,  and  he  cannot  draw  back  if 
he  would.  The  rupture  with  Lord  Durham  must  plunge  him 
deeper  in  perplexity ;  and  who  is  there  to  help  us  ?  Only  the 
All-powerful  and  Wise ;  but  in  His  hands  is  safety  for  those 
who  trust. 

Now  for  the  tailor.  Tailor  Dixon  "hight" — a  long,  lean, 
lank-limbed,  lank-visaged,  lank-haired  anatomy,  proprietor  of  a 
dissenting  chapel,  and  preacher  at  the  same  (he  whose  name  I 
made  free  with  in  a  hoax  on  Mr.  Levitt,  of  which  I  told  you) ,  a 
conchologist,  a  mineralogist,  a  reformer,  and  a  lecturer  at  a 
Mechanics'  Institute,  and  altogether  a  wonder  of  knowledge  ; 
but,  as  implied  by  his  title,  he  condescends  to  make  and  mend 
male  raiment,  and  waited  on  a  friend  of  mine  the  other  day  in 
his  professional  capacity.  My  friend,  a  very  delightful  and 
well-informed  Swiss  lady,  had  to  order  some  liveries  for  her 
men-servants.  Tailor  Dixon  being  deaf,  she  wrote  her  direc- 
tions with  a  pencil,  and  among  other  articles,  specified  in  her 
odd  English  "one  groom  coat."  The  tailor  shook  his  head, 


and  smiled  compassionately,  accepted  the  order,  but  begged 
leave,  before  he  put  it  in  his  pocket-book,  to  point  out  a  gram- 
matical fault  in  the  wording.  "Madam!"  quoth  he,  "you 
should  have  added  an  s  to  groom;  the  case  is  nominative." 
Talk  of  the  march  of  intellect — why,  it  goes  full  gallop. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



BUCKLAND,  March  26th,  1832. 

I  hope  you  have  not  seen  the  paragraph  which  heads  my 
paper,*  for  I  aspire  at  giving  you  the  earliest  notice  of  the 
honourable  classification  of  "  great  men,"  in  which  you  figure 
cheek  by  jowl  with  that  congenial  spirit,  the  Agitator  !  I  con- 
gratulate you.  And  in  good  earnest,  I  thank  you,  dear  friend, 
for  your  kind  remembrance  of  my  request  anent  the  yellow 
poppy  seed.  This  will  be  precious  seed,  for  the  sake  of  the 
gatherers  and  of  the  sender,  and  very  much  prized  also  as  a 
beautiful  addition  to  my  flower  collection,  if  it  will  be  but 
good-natured  enough  to  grow  and  blow  for  me — a  doubtful 
case,  I  promise  you,  easy  of  culture  as  you  think  it,  for  I  am 
told  it  is  a  capricious  beauty ;  will  flourish  (as  you  say)  any- 
where when  it  sows  itself,  but  oftenest  baffles  the  hand  of  art. 
I  have  a  sort  of  fellow-feeling  with  the  creature,  so  perhaps  it 
will  oblige  me.  Mary  Colling  and  I  entirely  sympathise  in 
the  feeling  of  companionship  with  flowers.  I  remember  com- 
posing verses  to  mine  when  I  stood  between  my  father's  knees, 
and  he  wrote  for  me.  But  you  and  I  do  not  agree — that  ever  I 

*  Great  men  that  were  indifferent  to  music.  Wyndham  said  that  four 
of  the  greatest  men  he  knew  had  no  relish  for  music — Edmund  Burke, 
Charles  Fox,  Dr.  Johnson,  and  Pitt.  To  these  we  may  add  Pope,  and  in 
our  own  time  Southey  and  O'Connell." — Town. 


should  say  so  !  No ;  we  are  not  yet  agreed  on  the  subject  of 
poetical  maid-servants ;  and,  truth  to  say,  it  seems  to  me  that 
in  what  you  write  to  me  (for  I  have  not  yet  got  sight  of  the 
Quarterly  Review),  you  argue  rather  with  the  heart  than  the 
head — and  yet  Jesuitically  too,  for  you  adduce  as  a  main  point 
one  which,  so  far  from  controverting,  I  agree  in  with  you,  heart 
and  soul — the  crying  sin  we  are  guilty  of  in  converting  servants 
from  humhle  friends  into  mercenary  dependents — the  unavoid- 
able effect  of  our  detestable,  cold-hearted,  un-Christian  system. 
I  am  thankful  to  my  half  Norman  blood  and  parentage  for 
having  kept  me  clear  of  that  sin  at  least.  The  dear  old  nurse 
who  died  in  my  arms  after  sixty  years'  service  in  my  family 
would  have  rated  you  in  her  broken  English  if  you  had  ven- 
tured to  doubt  that  her  master's  grand-daughter  could  be  less 
than  her  child  in  duty  and  affection. 

You  say,  "  that  though  I  would  not  hire  a  poetical  maid- 
servant, if  I  had  hired  one  so  qualified,  and  afterwards  dis- 
covered her  qualification,  she  would  very  soon  have  had  a  place 
in  my  esteem  and  affection."  Secretly  she  might;  but  my 
endeavour  would  be,  not  to  favour  or  distinguish  her  above  her 
fellow-servants,  unless  she  deserved  it  by  more  diligent  perform- 
ance of  the  duties  of  her  station ;  other  conduct  on  my  part  I 
should  consider  injudicious  kindness  to  herself  and  injustice  to 
others,  and  therefore,  as  I  should  certainly  long  to  do  just  as 
Mrs.  Bray  has  done,  I  would  rather  not  have  such  a  temptation 
thrown  in  my  way  as  mistress  of  a  family.  It  is  scarcely  in 
nature  that  other  maid- servants  should  live  in  peace,  and 
charity,  and  familiarity,  with  an  equal  so  distinguished ;  and  the 
friends  and  patrons  to  be  acquired  in  a  higher  class  can  never 
make  amends  for  the  loss  of  those  in  the  same  station  and 
circumstances  as  ourselves.  Even  Mary  Colling  writes  and 
speaks  with  the  warmth  of  wounded  feeling,  and  some  bitten 
ness,  of  the  envy  and  spite  shown  towards  her.  The  time  may 
come  when  she  is  no  longer  supported  by  the  buoyant  spirit  of 
youth,  and  the  generous  sympathy  of  Mrs.  Bray  and  her  kind 
master,  and  those  who  now  surround  her  with  a  sort  of  artificial 
atmosphere,  and  then,  though  she  may  not  be  in  poverty,  she 


will  feel  the  want  of  human  sympathy — that  want  that  withers 
life,  and  dries  up  the  heart-springs,  and  makes  the  mind  shrink 
inward,  and  prey  upon  itself.     For  you  know  you  have  very 
coolly  sentenced  the  poor  thing  to  "single  blessedness";  and 
single  she  had  better  be  truly  to  the  end  of  her  days,  lonely, 
deserted,  starving,  anything  rather  than  mated  to  a  coarse- 
minded  clodpole.    That  other  danger  you  admit  is  one  I  should 
less  apprehend  in   our   anti-romantic  days  than  the  liability 
you  cannot  but  be  aware  of — that  so  engaging  a  creature,  with 
so   sweet  a   face,  should  become  the  victim  of  seduction.     I 
should,  in  Mr.  Bray's  place,  consider  that  I  had  taken  upon 
myself  a  most  serious  responsibility — an  engagement  to  watch 
over  the  principles,   as  well   as  fortunes,   of  the  being  who, 
through  my  instrumentality,  would  be  in  a  manner  isolated  in 
the  midst  of  society.     You  will  think  all  my  reasoning  very 
weak,  very  fallacious  probably,  evidencing  a  narrow  mind  and 
most  erring  judgment.     May  be  so ;  you  may  think  what  you 
will  of  the  head  (would  you  could  mend  it),  provided  you  do  not 
call  me  cold-hearted ;  and  something  assures  me  that  you  will  not 
do.    If  you  did  but  know  how,  from  the  very  day-spring  of  life, 
my  mind  and  heart  have  been  driven  in  upon  themselves,  by  what 
miserable  circumstances,  you  would  wonder  I  had  a  generous 
or  kindly  feeling  left.     Thank  Grod  !  they  did  not  perish  under 
the  ice,  and  I  have  a  pleasure  in  feeling  that,  as  I  draw  near 
the  close  of  life,  all  the  better  feelings  of  my  very  early  youth, 
and  even  childhood,  are  resuming  more  and  more  influence  over 
me.     This  is  surely  right.     If  we  bring  into  the  world  with  us, 
as  some  have  fancied,  a  lingering  of  heavenly  light,  it  is  no 
greater  stretch  of  imagination  to  suppose  that,  as  we  approach 
the  source,  a  few  precursive  rays  may  lighten  the  shadows  of 
the  dark  valley.     Dear  friend,  forgive  my  egotism.    I  meant  to 
speak  of  Mary  Colling  only. 

Peace  and  health  be  with  you.     I  can  wish  you  no  richer 
earthly  blessing,  and  so  God  bless  you. 


I  long  to  hear  you  have  wound  up  the  War.     Not  one  word 


of  intelligence  about  the  Colloquies  have  you  vouchsafed  me. 
Why,  wait  a  little  longer,  and  the  book  will  be  a  voice  of  the 
past — obsolete  under  a  new  era,  political  and  social.  And 
what  think  you  of  the  Irving  sect  ?  Half  my  family  are  bitten, 
seeing  visions,  having  revelations,  talking  blasphemy  ;  in  short, 
as  mad  as  Sister  Nativity.* 



Hyde  Yilliers  is  a  very  intimate  friend  of  Henry  Taylor's, 
at  whose  lodgings  I  generally  meet  him,  at  breakfast,  once 
during  my  visits  to  town. 

Through  Henry  Taylor  it  is  that  he  is  one  of  my  frankers. 
I  believe  his  opinions  upon  most  subjects  are  as  far  wrong  as  they 
can  be ;  and  the  liking  which  he  has  both  for  my  prose  and 
verse  is  not  connected  with  any  sympathy  in  the  more  impor- 
tant points  on  which  they  touch.  His  manners  are  mild  and 
courteous ;  and  if  he  had  not  some  very  good  qualities,  Henry 
Taylor  (who  found  him  in  the  Colonial  Office)  would  not  have 
become  so  much  attached  to  him  as  he  is.  I  look  at  him  with  some 
wonder  as  the  descendant  of  Buckingham  and  Clarendon,  and 
think  more  of  his  genealogy  than  he  does  himself.  He  takes 
pains  to  acquire  knowledge  upon  political  subjects,  and  has  ac- 
quired some  reputation  accordingly  by  speaking  in  Parliament. 
His  father  was  one  of  the  Evangelicals  (I  met  him  once  at  Mr. 
Wilberforce's),  and  this  perhaps  may  in  part  account  for  the 
son's  aberration  in  a  different  direction. 

May  8th. — I  cannot  tell  how  long  it  is  since  this  answer  to 
your  inquiry  was  written.  Time  seems  to  pass  with  me  like  a 
spendthrift's  fortune — it  goes  as  fast,  and  sometimes  I  am 
almost  afraid  to  think  that  I  could  render  as  poor  an  account 
of  it. 

*  Elsewhere  Miss  Bowles  compares  Irving  in  appearance  to  Fuseli's 


My  brother  the  Doctor,  thank  God,  seems  now  to  be  re- 
covered, though  the  use  of  one  ear  is,  I  believe,  entirely  lost ; 
this  however  is  a  light  misfortune.  His  death  would  have 
brought  on  me  a  world  of  cares ;  and  those  from  another  quarter, 
which  we  now  divide,  would  then  have  come  wholly  upon  me 
with  a  weight  which  it  would  have  been  impossible  for  me  to 
support.  Dear  friend,  my  pillow  will  never  be  without  thorns, 
but  I  did  not  gather  them  for  myself.  Public  events  I  cease  to 
think  of  when  the  newspaper  is  laid  down  ;  when  the  pen  is  out 
of  my  hand  I  go  to  my  books ;  I  take  exercise  dutifully ;  make 
the  most  of  little  pleasures ;  find  interest  in  little  things  if  they 
interest  others ;  keep  a  quiet  mind  when  external  circumstances 
will  let  me,  a  patient  one  at  all  times ;  and  then  plod  on  my 
pilgrimage  with  a  firm  step  and  cheerful  countenance,  though 
there  is  no  station  in  the  road  at  which  I  can  ever  hope,  like 
Christian,  to  be  relieved  from  the  burthen  on  my  back. 

"Write  soon,  for  your  letter  makes  me  uneasy  concerning 
you.*  They  who  bear  up  with  most  fortitude  in  the  midst  of 
affliction  suffer  sometimes  most  in  their  health  when  it  is  over. 
Violent  grief  seems  to  spend  itself  in  tears.  I  dare  say  your 
widowf  who  planted  her  husband's  grave  might  have  watered 
it  with  hers  daily  the  first  week. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 



BFCKLAND,  June  9th,  1832. 

I  believe  every  Bowles  has  more  or  less  of  what  the  Scots 
call  "a  bee  in  the  bonnet."     I  am  sometimes  sensible  of  the 

*  A  letter  written  after  the  death  of  a  cousin, 
f  See  Chapters  on  Churchyards,  chap.  i. 


humming  of  mine,  and  I  am  sure  our  poor  friend  of  Bremhill* 
is  haunted  by  a  very  tormenting  familiar.  Have  you  seen  his 
late  publication,  St.  John  at  Patmos  ?  If  you  have,  I  am  sure 
you  have  felt  compassion  for,  rather  than  anger  towards,  him 
for  the  effusion  of  pique  and  disappointment  directed  towards 
yourself  in  the  preface.  You  will  not  think  me  wanting  in 
regard  for  you,  or  in  a  keen  sense  of  feeling  for  all  that  con- 
cerns you,  though  I  tell  you  I  read  that  sentence  with  eyes 
filling  with  tears  at  thought  of  the  bitterness  of  spirit  the  poor 
writer  must  have  smarted  under  when  he  committed  it  to  paper; 
and  for  you  I  am  no  way  concerned,  believing  you  would  feel  as 
I  did.  It  is  evident  that  he  has  from  year  to  year  cherished 
hopes  of  being  noticed  by  your  pen,  a  few  words  of  commenda- 
tion from  which  would,  I  believe,  have  consoled  him  for  the 
heartless  neglect  and  cutting  scorn  of  a  world  which  cares  less 
than  nothing  for  one  who  has  nearly  outlived  the  generation  as 
well  as  the  age  that  hailed  his  youthful  Muse  with  lavish  favour. 
He  sent  me  his  poem  ;  I  alluded  to  his  preface,  hoping  however 
"  it  would  be  taken  in  good  part."  I  tried  to  soothe  him  in  my 
answer,  and  to  persuade  him  of  what  I  have  heard  from  your- 
self— that  his  poetry  ranked  high  in  your  estimation  (his  early 
poetry  was  in  my  mind),  and  that  I  was  sure  it  would  pain  you 
to  suppose  he  felt  himself  slighted  or  neglected  by  you  (did  I 
take  too  much  upon  me  in  speaking  so  after  my  own  heart  ?) ; 
which  brought  me  another  letter  from  him  by  return  of  post,  so 
characteristic  of  his  infirmity  of  temper,  and  simplicity  and  real 
goodness  of  heart,  that  I  must  let  you  see  it.  His  new  poem 
is  an  epitome  of  his  mental  state,  full  of  flashes  of  poetic 
beauty,  holiness  of  heart,  and  profound  feeling,  but  I  think 
faulty  in  the  choice  of  subject,  desultory  and  confused  in 
the  arrangement,  and  wanting  altogether  what  painters  term 
"  keeping,"  and  "  an  eye  to  the  picture." 

The  first  part  is  little  other  than  a  paraphase  of  the  Apo- 
calypse. St.  John  in  Patmos  is  of  itself  a  fine  and  appropriate 
subject  for  the  Muse  of  an  old  divine,  but  the  mysterious  Book 

*  W.  Lisle  Bowles. 


is  too  awful  to  be  woven  into  the  work  of  an  uninspired  writer. 
I  have  been  very  tedious  in  this  chapter  about  my  sensitive 
namesake,  but  I  really  love  and  pity  him,  and  respect  him  also 
as  he  deserves  to  be  respected ;  and  if  I  had  power  given  me  but 
for  half-an-hour  over  your  head  and  heart  and  hand,  I  would 
cause  you  to  indite  some  kind,  soothing,  commendatory,  little 
sentence,  such  as  you  know  very  well  how  to  slip  into  your 
Quarterly  Review  and  other  articles,  which  should  fall  like 
balm  on  the  old  man's  head,  and  fill  his  eyes,  I  answer  for  it, 
with  tears  of  gratitude. 

Farewell,  dear  friend,  and  God  bless  you. 



KESWICK,  July  4th,  1832. 

You  are  perfectly  right,  dear  Caroline,  in  supposing  that  I 
should  feel  anything  rather  than  anger  at  poor  Bowles's  effusion 
of  spleen.  It  is  only  from  your  letter  that  I  have  heard  of  it. 
I  forgive  him  everything  except  his  giving  a  proud  and  con- 
temptuous nickname  to  one  whose  family  history  and  whose 
character  ought  to  have  touched  him,  whatever  he  might  think 
of  her  rhymes.  I  am  sure  that  if  he  ever  sees  her  portrait  he 
will  be  pitiably  ashamed  of  this. 

He  cannot  suppose  that  I  do  not  understand  the  difference 
between  what  is  poetry  and  what  is  not  as  well  as  he  does  him- 
self, and  he  ought  to  have  seen  in  my  reviewal  of  Mrs.  Bray's 
book,*  that  my  object  was  to  interest  people  with  the  story,  and 
in  fact  to  apologise  for  the  verses,  without  letting  ordinary 
readers  perceive  that  I  thought  any  apology  necessary  for 
them.  But  you  would  see  this,  and  so  would  any  judicious 

*  The  Poems  of  Mary  Colling. 


The  first  time  I  ever  saw  Bowles  was  in  1802,  and  I  took  a 
dislike  to  him  which  did  not  wear  off  till  I  learnt  from  Sir 
George  Beaumont  what  was  his  real  character,  many  years 
afterwards;  but  the  cause  was  just  such  an  effusion  of  spleen 
against  the  Welsh  bard  Edward  Williams,  to  whom  he  denied 
anything  like  genius  because  he  wrote  commonplace  English 
verses,  unmindful  that  the  Welshman  was  writing  in  a  foreign 

More  than  once  I  have  taken  an  opportunity  of  compli-r 
menting  him,  as  he  well  deserves,  when  he  came  in  my  way, 
though  I  believe  Gifford  sometimes  intercepted  such  compli- 
ments. And  now,  for  your  sake,  if  he  does  not  come  in  my 
way,  I  will,  on  the  first  occasion,  go  out  of  mine  to  bring  him 
in  neck  and  shoulders. 

I  wished  very  much  to  have  reviewed  his  Life  of  Bishop  Ken, 
who  was  a  kinsman  of  my  mother's  family.  It  is  only  the  first 
volume  that  I  have  seen ;  but  that  is  so  bad  that  I  was  really 
deterred  from  my  wish  by  the  certainty  of  mortifying  him,  even 
if  I  totally  abstained  from  noticing  any  of  the  faults  in  it,  and 
only  arranged  his  materials  as  he  ought  to  have  arranged  them, 
and  thrown  his  rubbish  overboard.  But  I  love  dearly  what  is- 
to  be  loved  in  his  poetry,  and  you  will  believe  me  when  I  say 
that  I  shall  have  quite  as  much  pleasure  in  taking  the  first 
opportunity  of  praising  him  as  he  can  possibly  have  in  being 

Summer  is  come  in  earnest,  and  with  it  a  touch  of  my 
summer  cold  and  the  commencement  of  my  summer  inter- 
ruptions. Last  week  I  was  most  delightfully  surprised  by  the 
apparition  of  Landor  from  Italy,  whom  I  had  not  seen  since  I 
was  at  Como  in  1817.  He  remained  two  days  here,  and  holds 
out  a  hope  of  coming  again  to  England  three  years  hence, 
which  to  him  seems  not  so  long  a  time  to  look  forward  to  as  it 
does  to  me,  for  he  has  had  no  home-proofs  of  the  uncertainty  of 
human  life. 

Poor  Sir  Walter  is  in  so  pitiable  and  hopeless  a  state  that 
his  release  is  wished  for  by  those  who  love  him  best.  The 
attack  had  been  preceded  by  great  irritability,  wholly  the  effect 


of  disease,  and  by  a  failure  of  mental  power.  He  wrote  a  great 
deal  in  Italy  and  sent  it  home  for  publication,  but  it  was  found 
to  bear  such  marks  of  decay  that  this  was  impossible.  It  would 
have  been  a  great  shock  to  him  had  he  known  this. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



BUCKLAND,  July  18th,  1832. 

Yes ;  I  was  sure  the  poor  poet  of  Bremhill's  splenetic  effusion 
could  only  affect  you  as  it  has  done,  with  compassion  for  the 
infirmity  of  mind  which  can  so  pitiably  pervert  the  feelings  of 
a  really  kind,  warm  heart.  A  more  cunning  man  would  not 
have  vented  his  spleen  so  palpably.  I  think  I  told  you  that 
I  accompanied  my  cousin  Greorge  Bowles  to  Salisbury  last 
summer,  on  purpose  to  gratify  the  musical  canon  and  poet  by 
being  present  at  his  Cathedral  during  the  performance  of  some 
hymns,  of  which  the  music  and  words  were  composed  by  himself 
for  the  benefit  of  a  school  charity;  and  we  heard  him  preach 
also,  in  the  same  strange,  desultory  style  (with  poetic  bursts 
interspersed)  which  characterises  his  Life  of  Ken.  I  never  saw  a 
man  so  delighted  and  overpowered  as  he  was  at  what  he  called 
my  great  kindness  in  coming ;  the  tears  actually  stood  in  his 
eyes  when  he  thanked  me,  as  if  such  trifling  tokens  even  of 
regard  and  respect  were  rare  to  him  now,  who  was  once  so  used 
to  them.  After  service  he  took  possession  of  me,  to  show  me,  as 
he  said,  every  nook  and  corner  of  his  beloved  Cathedral,  the 
library,  &c. ;  to  tell  me  the  stories  of  those  who  slept  beneath  the 
most  remarkable  tombs,  and  well  and  enthusiastically  he  began 


the  task  he  had  undertaken ;  but  it  so  happened  that  as  we 
were  returning  to  the  Cathedral,  after  taking  some  refreshment 
at  his  residence  just  opposite,  we  spied  and  heard  two  gentlemen 
calling  for  some  person  to  liberate  them  from  within  the  grated 
doors  of  the  building,  which  they  had  been  locked  into  by  acci- 
dent when  we  came  out.  They  seemed  very  impatient  of  con- 
finement, and  I  observed  to  my  companion,  who  had  stopt  short 
to  look  down  the  avenue  towards  the  prisoners,  "  I  should  be 
well  content  to  be  shut  up  for  many  hours  in  such  a  cage, 
and  should  have  no  objection  to  pass  a  moonlight  night  there 
quite  alone."  "  Grod  forbid,  God  forbid  !  "  he  muttered  to  him- 
self in  great  agitation,  dropping  my  arm ;  and  then  turning  and 
looking  strangely  in  my  face  he  added,  with  a  fearful  emphasis, 
"  Do  you  know  where  I  should  be  the  next  day  if  I  was  shut 
up  alone  in  that  place  one  hour?  In  Finche's  mad-house." 
Then  he  caught  up  my  arm  and  rather  dragged  than  led  me  on. 
The  gentlemen  were  liberated,  and  came  out  laughing  as  we 
entered,  but  Mr.  Bowles  shuddered  as  he  passed  them,  and  I 
am  sure  put  great  force  upon  himself,  in  consideration  of  his 
promise  to  me,  in  entering  at  all.  He  hurried  me  over  the 
library,  the  rest  of  the  party  following ;  then  down  to  the  body 
of  the  Cathedral,  from  tomb  to  tomb,  from  shrine  to  shrine, 
scarcely  able  to  utter  two  connected  sentences,  and  turning  his 
head  to  look  back  towards  the  entrance  every  moment.  At  last 
he  caught  my  hand,  and  whispered  "  Grood  Grod !  if  we  should 
be  shut  in,"  and  his  distress  was  so  painful  to  me  that  I  feigned 
having  seen  enough.  I  drew  him  away,  nothing  loath,  but  too 
much  agitated  to  be  himself  again  while  we  stayed.  After 
witnessing  that  scene,  nothing  he  could  say  or  do  would  affect 
me  angrily. 

Poor  human  nature !  I  suppose  it  is  from  sympathy  that  I 
feel  so  much  for  poor  Bowles ;  and  how  he  would  resent  such 
sympathy ! 

The  Life  of  Bishop  Ken  might  as  well  be  the  life  of  the  man 
in  the  moon ;  but  surely  some  of  the  irrelevant  parts  (how  few 
are  relevant)  are  beautiful  in  themselves  as  to  poetic  feeling ; 
one  might  make  a  pretty  little  book  of  such  episodes. 


God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  I  was  delighted  to  hear  of  the 
unexpected  pleasure  you  had  had  in  the  visit  of  Mr.  Landor,  of 
whom  I  well  remember  you  told  me  there  was  no  person  living 
you  would  go  so  far  to  see  and  converse  with. 



KESWICK,  July  3lst,  1832. 

Poor  Bowles's  poem  came  to  me  yesterday,  with  a  note,  two 
months  old,  from  himself,  saying  that  he  was  especially  induced 
to  send  it  because  he  had  mentioned  me  in  the  preface,  and 
professing  all  the  personal  good-will  for  which  I  always  gave 
him  credit.  As  you  may  suppose,  I  immediately  read  through 
the  poem,  and  then  wrote  to  thank  him  for  it.  I  told  him  for 
what  reasons  I  never  reviewed  the  works  of  a  living  poet,  and 
also  for  what  reasons  I  had  told  Mary  Colling's  story  in  the 
Quarterly  Review.  It  will  not  be  my  fault  if  the  letter  does  not 
put  him  in  good-humour  both  with  himself  and  me. 

His  preface  has  served  as  a  text  in  Fraser's  Magazine  for  a 
discourse  in  which  the  Quarterly  Review  is  charged  with  patro- 
nising humble  poets  for  the  pleasure  of  patronage,  and  ab- 
staining from  praising  great  ones  for  equally  worthy  motives. 
This  introduces  a  criticism  upon  Mr.  Pennie,  the  poet  whom^. 
Bowles  praises ;  but  in  the  specimens  which  are  given  I  see 
much  more  effort  than  power,  and  much   less   feeling   than 
either.     The  truth  is,  that  genius  is  common  enough  (I  had:— 
almost  said  too  common),  but  that  nothing  is  so  uncommon  as 
the  good  sense  which  gives  it  its  right  direction.     Fielding^ 
employed  great  part  of  his  life  in  writing  execrable  comedies 
before  he  found  where  his  talent  lay  ;  and  I  believe  something 
of  the  same  kind  occurred  to   a  very  inferior  writer — Mar- 


Do  you  ever  see  Fraser's  Magazine  ?    It  is  just  as  disgusting—- 
as the  Monster's,  and  just  as  clever ;  but  it  has  the  advantage 
of  giving  excellent  portraits,  with  about  the  same  inclination  to 
caricature  in  them  that  a  certain  very  dear  friend  of  mine  is 
conscious  of  in  herself.     In  the  reviewal  of  Mr.  Pennie  they^~ 
say,  very  truly,  that  the  merit  of  my  prose  consists  in  no  arti- 
fice of  composition,  but  in  letting  the  language  suit  itself  to 
the  subject,  and  rise  and  fall  with  it. 

And  now,  dear  friend,  farewell. 



BUCKLAKD,  August  20£A,  1632. 

Some  days  earlier  you  would  have  heard  from  me,  dear 
friend,  had  not  a  long  and  severe  attack  of  sickness  still  hung 
about  me  too  oppressively  to  allow  me  to  write  with  any  degree 
of  comfort.  This  is  the  first  evening,  almost  the  first  hour, 
that  I  feel  really  revived,  and  able  to  breathe  without  pain. 
Only  those  who  are  familiar  with  sickness  and  suffering  can 
appreciate  the  blessing  of  ease,  mere  bodily  ease — not  the  less 
delightful  for  being  accompanied,  as  is  the  case  with  me  at  this 
moment,  by  a  degree  of  languor  which  seems  to  calm  and 
compose,  but  not  depress,  the  mind.  After  the  fever  of  mind 
and  body  which  has  lately  worn  me  to  a  shadow,  it  would  be 
luxury  to  me  this  evening  merely  to  lie  still  and  think ;  but  I 
am  greedy  of  enjoyment  after  such  long  starvation ;  I  must, 
therefore,  think  on  paper — to  you. 

Thank  you  for  your  letter  of  the  4th.  "What  you  say  of 
poor  Lisle  Bowles  accounts  to  me  for  a  report  lately  made  to 
me  by  a  friend,  of  his  being  in  particular  good  spirits  and  good- 
humour,  and  talking  of  coming  to  see  me.  No  doubt  your 
kind  note  to  him  smoothed  down  all  his  bristles,  and  I  should 


not  wonder  if  he  half  repented  of  calling  poor  Mary  Colling 
names.  I  hope  if  that  interesting  girl  ever  loses  her  kind 
master,  he  will  either  leave  her  sufficiently  provided  for,  or  that 
Mrs.  Bray  will  take  her  into  her  family.  It  is  not  only  pro- 
vision, but  protection,  that  poor  Mary  will  want,  for  she  must 
be  isolated  among  persons  of  her  own  class  in  life.  Did  it  ever 
strike  you  that  the  Devonshire  cast  of  countenance,  especially 
of  beauty,  is  very  peculiar  to  that  province?  We  have  had 
several  Devonshire  girls  in  the  service  of  different  persons  of 
my  family — two  in  our  own  house — all  good-looking,  and  one 
beautiful,  and  all  (the  last  especially)  so  much  like  the  picture 
of  Mary  Colling,  that  it  might  have  answered  for  both — the 
compressed  lips  and  receding  mouth,  all  marking  provincial 
features,  and  a  certain  shrewdness,  as  well  as  sweetness  of 

I  am  not  sure  that  you  will  ever  speak  to  me  again  when 
you  know  what  atrocities  (as  you  will  call  them)  have  been 
perpetrated,  if  not  by  my  own  hand,  with  my  sanction  after 
the  fact.  Whisper  it  not  in  the  ears  of  Eumpelstilzchen,  or 
the  hearing  of  Pussy  Bell,  or  in  the  groves  of  Cats'  Eden,  that 
within  the  short  space  of  three  weeks  nine  cats  have  been 
murdered  on  these  premises  by  the  hand  of  Dick,  my  servitor — 
caught  by  the  necks  and  tails  in  wires  set  for  the  purpose  round 
my  pigeon-house,  which  had  been  pillaged  unmercifully  for  the 
last  twelve  months  by  those  abominable  vermin,  who  swarm  in 
this  garden  from  all  parts  of  the  neighbourhood.  Woe  to  the 
great  Eumpel  himself  if  he  were  to  set  foot  here. 

Spite  of  cats,  however,  a  family  of  nightingales  has  been 
reared  this  summer,  almost  under  my  windows,  by  the  parent 
birds,  who  took  up  their  abode  in  the  little  front  garden  close 
to  the  house  immediately  on  their  arrival  in  April.  The  first 
notice  I  had  of  my  welcome  guests  was  the  song  of  the  male  as 
he  hovered  in  a  seeming  rapture  over  a  rose-bush  covered  with 
early  flowers  close  to  the  window — the  eastern  fable  illustrated 
to  the  life.  The  pair  brought  up  four  young  ones,  and  trained 
them  mostly,  when  they  first  left  the  nest,  on  a  pink  thorn 
under  my  bedroom  window,  where  I  was  many  a  half-hour 



longer  in  dressing  than  usual,  but  not  engrossed  by  my  looking- 
glass  ;  and  one  morning  when  I  came  down  to  breakfast,  one  of 
the  bold  little  creatures  that  had  found  its  way  into  the  house 
flew  out  over  my  shoulder,  but  nothing  daunted,  nor  farther 
than  to  his  family  on  the  thorn  close  by.  My  pretty  visitors 
are  now  of  course  departed,  but  I  hope  they  will  return  next 
spring  to  the  same  quarters ;  next  spring !  well,  if  I  am  not 
here  to  welcome  them,  I  shall  be  better  off  elsewhere,  wherever 
that  may  be. 

I  have  never  seen,  I  think,  more  than  three  or  four  numbers 
of  Eraser's  Magazine  since  its  commencement,  and  the  two  last 
that  fell  in  my  way  I  thought  dull  and  heavy — proof  of  dul- 
ness  in  myself,  I  fear,  since  your  opinion  is  so  different — but  I 
saw  no  sketches  of  character  such  as  you  mention.  "  Hast  thou 
found  me,  0 !  mine  enemy  ?  "  If  I  dare  not  disavow  that 
besetting  sin  you  hint  at,  be  sure  I  do  not  love  myself  the  better 
for  it,  and  I  should  think  it  was  the  Evil  One  himself  who  put 
comical  fancies  into  my  head  sometimes,  if  they  were  ever 
fashioned  in  malice,  which  I  swear  they  are  not,  that  I  never 
could,  would,  or  did  caricature,  with  pen  or  pencil,  man,  woman, 
or  child  towards  whom  I  was  conscious  of  an  unkind  or  angry 
thought,  least  of  all,  any  who  had  ever  injured  or  offended  me. 
But  I  know  there  are  laughing  devils  as  well  as  others. 

Pray,  tell  me,  did  you  give  it  under  your  hand  and  seal  to 
Satan  Montgomery,  that  you  considerd  one  of  his  poems  (I  for- 
get which)  equal  in  merit  to  Paradise  Lost,  and  himself  (said 
Satan)  not  second  even  to  John  Milton  ?  Satan  averred  to  a 
relation  of  mine,  that  he  had  this  opinion  in  good  black  and 
white  characters  of  your  writing ;  but  till  I  see  them,  no,  till  you 
certify  the  same  to  me,  I  must  believe  Satan  lies — no  great 

God  bless  you  and  those  you  love,  dear  friend. 





KESWICK,  August  26£A,  1832. 

Bobert  Montgomery  (wicked  Caroline  to  call  him  Satan),  I 
will  venture  to  say,  never  told  so  absurd  a  lie  as  your  informant 
has  put  into  his  mouth.  He  is  a  fine  young  man,  who  has  been 
wickedly  puffed  and  wickedly  abused,  and  who  is  in  no  little 
danger  of  being  spoiled  by  forcing.  In  thanking  him  for  his 
books  when  he  sent  them  to  me,  I  neither  made  a  fool  of  myself 
nor  of  him  by  any  preposterous  praise.  The  course  he  has 
taken  has  been  the  best  possible  for  immediate  success  (and  this 
his  poverty  rendered  needful),  but  in  other  respects  he  could  not 
have  taken  a  worse.  He  has  rushed  in  where  angels  should 
fear  to  tread.  He  has  attempted  subjects  which  ought  never"" 
to  be  attempted,  and  in  which  it  is  impossible  not  to  fail ;  yet 
these  very  subjects  have  obtained  for  him  popularity,  and  the 
profit  without  which  he  could  not  have  obtained  the  education 
of  which  he  was  worthy,  as  well  as  ambitious.  When  he 
lowers  his  flight,  I  wish  he  may  not  find  that  he  has  weakened 
his  wings  by  straining  them. 

You  deserve  to  be  haunted  by  the  ghost  of  Merlin  for  those 
repeated  acts  of  felicide  which  you  seem  to  feel  no  remorse  for. 
If  I  had  committed  one  such  act,  I  could  never  again  look  a  cat 
in  the  face.  No  such  deeds  are  committed  in  Cats'  Eden.  We 
have  had  a  sad  tragedy  here,  in  the  fate  of  two  owls,  both  taken 
from  one  nest,  both  bought  from  some  boys  for  the  sake  of 
emancipating  them  as  soon  as  they  should  be  able  to  provide 
for  themselves;  and  just  as  that  had  been  accomplished  and  each 
was  living  about  the  premises  upon  the  wing  and  at  large,  both, 
one  after  the  other,  drowned  in  the  same  water-cask,  and  both 
now  buried  in  the  orchard.  Each  was  named  Solon ;  and  the 
death  of  the  first,  who  was  tame  enough  to  answer  from  the 
trees  to  his  name,  and  come  at  a  call,  vexed  us  all  more  than 
such  things  ought  to  disturb  one. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 


S  2 



KESWICK,  September  17£A,  1832. 

.  I  can  but  too  well  understand  the  situation  of  the  young 
ladies  concerning  whom  you  speak.  Every  publisher  is  beset 
by  persons  seeking  for  this  sort  of  employment,  miserably  as  it 
is  paid,  and  uncertain  as  it  is.  Few  books  are  now  translated, 
except  such  as  from  some  immediate  interest  in  the  subject  are 
sure  of  a  present  sale  ;  and  then,  lest  another  publisher  should 
get  the  start,  the  poor  translator  is  unmercifully  hurried  in 
his  task.  So  little  is  to  be  done  in  this  way  at  any  time,  that 
at  this  time  I  see  no  hope  of  doing  anything.  There  are  but 
two  courses  open  to  women  thus  unhappily  circumstanced  —  that 
of  setting  up  a  school,  or  of  seeking  a  livelihood  in  the  manner 
you  mention.  But  both  these  require  active  friends,  and  such 
are  rarely  to  be  found. 

Ah,  dear  Caroline,  this  is  a  hard-hearted,  I  had  almost  said 
a  merciless,  society  in  which  we  are  living.  It  seems  as  if  no 
sympathy  could  be  excited  for  any  but  great  criminals.  They 
who  deserve  most  compassion  meet  with  least  ;  and  bounty 
seldom  descends  upon  those  on  whom  it  would  be  best  be- 

I  never  said  anything  like  what  you  repeat  about  Robert 
Montgomery:  when  I  have  spoken  of  him  to  Sharon  Turner 
(who  must  be  the  common  friend  alluded  to),  it  has  been  to  the 
same  effect  as  I  have  expressed  myself  to  you;  encouraging 
him  against  his  malevolent  enemies,  and  giving  him  credit  for 
good  powers,  which  have  been  overtasked,  and  injudiciously 
both  excited  and  extolled.  Favourably  no  doubt  I  wrote,  and 
kindly,  but  certainly  neither  flatteringly,  nor  falsely,  nor  like  a 
fool.  My  sins  of  this  kind  never  go  beyond  promising  myself 
pleasure  from  the  perusal  of  a  book,  when  perhaps  a  glance 
may  already  have  shown  me  that  the  way  not  to  be  disap- 
pointed in  such  a  promise  is  to  leave  the  unhappy  book  unread. 


Friend  Amelia  might  class  this  with  the  sorrow  which  is  ex- 
pressed in  declining  a  disagreeable  invitation,  and  sins  of  the 
same  diminutiveness.  But  you  know  me  well  enough  not  to 
need  any  assurance  that  I  flatter  people  in  private  as  little  as  in 

There  can  be  no  truth  in  any  reports  about  Sir  "Walter's  late 
papers.  What  he  sent  home  from  the  Continent  for  publication 
was  found  by  his  friends  wholly  unfit  for  the  press,  so  far  had 
his  faculties  at  that  time  failed  him.  I  heard  from  Abbotsford 
on  Sunday  last ;  mortification  had  then  existed  for  eight  days  ; 
it  was  extending  widely  and  deeply,  and  every  night  had  been 
expected  to  be  the  last,  yet  still  he  lingered  on.  But  this  must 
soon  close,  and  probably  has  closed  ere  this.  It  has  been  a 
pitiable  case — the  mind  going  slowly  to  ruins  first,  and  the 
strong  body  maintaining  so  long  and  slow  a  struggle  after- 
wards. The  cholera  is  a  merciful  dispensation  when  compared 
with  this.  Yet  I  can  believe  a  state  of  mind  very  possible  in 
which  the  more  or  less  of  affliction  in  this  world  would  appear 
all  but  infinitely  insignificant  to  the  sufferers  themselves. 
There  are  few  who  attain  it ;  and  I  wish  I  could  feel  that 
I  were  nearer  to  it  for  entirely  believing  it  to  be  attainable. 

You  would  be  greatly  pleased  with  Lord  Ashley's  letters  to 
me,  were  you  to  see  them.  They  express  a  warmth  of  attach- 
ment which  is  very  unusual  to  meet  with  from  anyone,  and 
especially  from  one  in  his  rank  of  life.  He  has  sent  Cuthbert 
his  own  Greek  Testament,  and  promised  him  (Grod  willing)  the 
best  piece  of  preferment  that  may  ever  be  at  his  disposal.  You 
need  not  be  told  that  this  was  wholly  unsolicited ;  even  if  I  were 
in  the  habit  of  asking  favours,  or  fishing  for  them,  so  remote  a 
possibility  would  never  have  entered  into  my  thoughts.  But 
this  will  show  you  something  of  his  character:  my  writings 
seem  to  have  taken  hold  both  of  his  heart  and  understanding. 
That  they  will  bring  forth  good  fruit  in  time  I  have  never 

Lady  Malet  is  here,  and  is  making  a  portrait  of  me  which 
goes  much  nearer  to  satisfy  everybody  than  any  former  attempt. 
She  has  made  a  very  good  one  of  Edith,  which  is  going  to 


Copenhagen.*  Do  not  forget  yours  when  your  hand  is  dis- 
posed to  exercise  its  cunning.  I  am  expecting  a  franker  every 
minute,  and  if  he  comes  in  time  shall  tale  him  to  Watenlath 
and  Borrodale  before  dinner. 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless,  and  preserve  you !  Night  and 
morning  when  I  pray  for  protection,  you  are  always  in  my 




BFCKLAND,  October  15th,  1832. 

Have  I  ever  spoken  to  you  of  "Sir  Edward  Seward's 
Narrative,"  edited  by  Miss  Porter  ?  Many  persons  persist  in 
the  belief  that  it  is  a  true  story.  I  cannot  be  so  persuaded,  but 
I  do  think  the  author,  whoever  he  or  she  may  be,  deserves  to 
rank  with  De  Foe  in  the  extraordinary  art,  evinced  in  this 
narrative,  of  giving  the  tone  of  verisimilitude  to  a  story  in  all 
its  details,  and  of  individuality  to  the  personages  represented 
in  it.  I  should  imagine  that  the  fiction  is  founded  on  some 
slender  foundation  of  reality.  Be  it  what  it  may,  the  book 
charmed  me,  and  I  devoured  it  with  all  the  youthful  appetite 
which  gave  such  a  relish  to  "  Kobinson  Crusoe  "  some  five  or 
six-and-thirty  years  ago.  How  pleasant  it  is  when  such  a  gush 
of  youthful  feeling  breaks  up  the  cold  surface  that  crusts  over 
one's  heart  in  middle  age !  But  then  the  revulsion  is  too  pain- 
ful, and  one  had  better  keep  under  the  crust.  Of  course  you 
think  so,  or  you  would  not  renounce  poor  Poetry  as  you  do.  I 
have  a  huge  mind  to  write  a  letter  to  Murray  too,  and  call  you 
a  "  Renegade."  Will  you  never,  never,  never  refresh  my  heart 
and  mind  with  verse  of  yours  again?  They  say  "the  devil 

*  To  Mr.  Warter. 


quotes  Scripture  for  his  purpose."     I  saw  your  "  Holly  Tree  " 
the  other  day  in  Lord  Brougham's  Magazine. 

No  increase  of  cholera  at  Southampton.     None  here,  thank 
Grod,  and  may  He  be  gracious  to  you. 



KESWICK,  October  2lst,  1832. 

I  have  been  writing  upon  the  last  French  revolution,  taking 
for  my  text  a  pamphlet  of  poor  Prince  Polignac's,  sent  me 
from  Brussels  by  Sir  Robert  Adair.  My  reply,  saying  that  I 
would  take  up  the  subject  in  the  Quarterly  Review,  was  sent  by 
Adair  to  his  poor  friend  in  person,  and  this  has  brought  me  a 
long  letter  from  Polignac  himself,  containing  much  interesting 
matter,  and  concluding  with  assurance  "de  haute  considera- 
tion." I  could  not  but  smile  through  sadness  at  the  phrase. 
The  poor  princess  too  sends  me  her  most  grateful  thanks  for  so 
poor  a  service  as  that  of  simply  speaking  the  honest  truth  in 
vindication  of  a  most  unfortunate,  but  upright,  man.  Under 
present  circumstances,  however,  no  service  could  afford  them  so 
much  gratification. 

I  have  not  made  up  my  mind  whether  or  not  to  bray 
Lord  Nugent  in  a  mortar.  As  regards  myself,  his  letter  is 
utterly  unworthy  of  notice  ;  and  if  I  answered  it,  it  would  be  as 
the  reviewer,  not  in  my  own  name,  passing  over  his  personali- 
ties with  stinging  contempt.  The  question  is,  is  it  worth  while 
to  notice  the  falsehood  of  his  defence,  and  repeat  in  the 
strongest  terms  the  charges  of  dishonesty  which  were  advanced 
as  courteously  as  they  could  be,  and  far  more  so  than  they 
ought  to  have  been,  in  the  Quarterly  Review?  That  I  can  do 
this  triumphantly  is  a  temptation  for  doing  it ;  whereas,  on  the 
other  hand,  I  may  be  more  profitably  and  pleasantly  employed  ; 


for  to  do  it  well  I  must  make  myself  angry,  and  anger  is  not  a 
wholesome  feeling.  If  I  see  Wordsworth  I  may  probably  be 
guided  by  his  opinion.  In  such  matters  I  am  easily  per- 

Your  clergyman's  poems  came  yesterday,  and  I  have  read 
about  half  the  volume.  See  the  use  of  recommending  such  a 
book !  I  copied  your  recommendation  of  it  to  Wynn,  who  was 
then  in  the  Isle  of  Wight,  and  he  bought  the  only  remaining 
copy  at  Newport,  and  was  as  much  pleased  with  them  as  you 
are.  I  admire  them  greatly,  and  will  notice  them  when  re- 
viewing "  NefPs  Life,"  a  book  written  by  Grilly  (the  Vaudois' 
friend).  Neff  was  a  Protestant  clergyman  in  the  French  Alps, 
an  imitation  of  Oberlin,  without  his  amusing  eccentricities,  and 
in  a  more  unfavourable  situation,  but  an  admirable  man. 

Mr.  Sewell's  poems  are  not  always  sufficiently  intelligible. 
The  fault  they  have  is  common  with  Keble's.  I  wish  they 
could  write  as  lucidly  as  you;  and  still  more  that  you,  whose 
poems  have  all  the  charm  of  theirs,  and  always  the  grace  which 
they  frequently  want,  would  write  more,  and  more,  and  more. 
As  for  me,  it  is  not  that  the  spring  of  poetry  in  me  is  dry,  or 
frozen,  but  that  I  want  time  for  it.  Letters  from  all  sorts  of 
people,  and  upon  all  sorts  of  subjects,  make  longer  drafts  upon 
my  time  than  anyone  would  suppose.  By  the  time  Cuthbert's 
lessons  are  over,  and  I  have  read  the  newspaper  (which  must  be 
read),  and  answered  my  letters,  so  much  of  the  morning  is 
gone,  that  no  more  remains  than  is  required  for  my  daily  walk  ; 
and  I  am  glad  to  get  that  opportunity  for  miscellaneous 
reading.  In  the  way  of  direct  business,  a  little  before  break- 
fast, and  the  hours  between  tea  and  supper,  are  all  that  I  can 
commonly  make  sure  of. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




BUCKLAND,  February  2nd,  1833. 

Dear  friend,  will  you  be  at  the  trouble  of  looking  over  the 
accompanying  verses?  I  have  been  reading  accounts  of  the 
factory  atrocities,  and  proofs  of  them  in  minutes  of  evidence 
taken  before  the  House  of  Commons,  that  worked  me  up  to  a 
fever  of  indignation,  which  vented  itself  in  verse — the  little 
poem  I  inclose,  and  another  of  about  the  same  length,  this 
being,  I  think,  the  best  of  the  two.  And  I  have  a  half-formed 
plan  of  publishing  them,  with  some  notes  annexed  from  the 
minutes  of  evidence.  But  I  should  be  glad  of  encouragement 
from  you,  if  you  can  give  it  me,  or  thankful  for  discouragement 
if  my  attempt  deserves  no  better.  I  fancied  if  published  soon 
the  trifle  might  be  successful.  This  will  reach  you,  I  hope, 
before  you  may  be  writing  to  me,  for  I  should  be  sorry  to  draw 
twice  upon  your  time,  occupied  as  it  now  is. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  February  6th,  1833. 

Your  poem,  dear  friend,  reached  me  this  morning,  and  I 
would  have  written  to  you  by  this  day's  post  if  there  had  not  at 
the  same  time  arrived  another  letter  upon  the  same  subject,  which 
required  an  immediate  reply,  because  it  consulted  me  upon  the 
steps  to  be  taken  in  Parliament  against  this  most  hellish  of  all 
slaveries.  Print  your  poems  by  all  means.  This  is  a  most 


painful  and  most  true  one,  and  cannot  but  be  felt  at  this  time, 
when  it  is  of  the  greatest  importance  that  the  nation  should  be 
made  to  feel.  You  have  written  like  yourself.  I  could  not 
find  any  words  that  would  express  higher  praise. 

No  task  was  ever  taken  up  in  Parliament  under  a  deeper 
sense  of  duty  than  this  will  be.  The  delegates  from  the  manu- 
facturing districts  have  requested  one,  whose  name  I  must  not 
mention,  but  whom  you  will  be  at  no  loss  to  know,  to  take 
Sadler's  position  and  urge  on  his  Bill.  He  says  to  me,  "  I 
shrink  from  the  task  in  perfect  dismay,  but  still  I  think  that 
you  would  advise  me  to  undertake  it.  I  have  implored  them 
to  try  others ;  they  have  done  so ;  some  fear,  some  refuse,  some 
are  unable  by  their  position  as  members  of  manufacturing 
districts ;  yet  it  is  a  duty  towards  God  and  man."  He  refers 
to  my  Essays,  which  have  taken  deep  hold  on  his  mind,  and  he 
concludes  with  "  God  help  me."  How  you  would  love  him  if 
you  saw  his  letters  to  me  ! 

I  have  read  of  the  Slave  Trade  and  of  the  Inquisition,  but 
nothing  ever  thrilled  my  heart  like  the  Evidences  which  you 
have  been  reading.  It  disturbed  my  sleep,  and  I  laid  the  book 

aside  in  horror. 

It  is  by  this  system  that  the s  have  obtained  their 

enormous  wealth  and  purchased  the estates  here  as  an 

appanage  for  the  second  son,  that  John who  is  to  second  the 

address,  who  in  Leeds  was  returned  instead  of  Sadler,  and  who, 
when  I  advised  him  to  plant  alders  about  the  marshy  borders 
of  the  lake,  replied  that  "  alders  were  worth  only  fourpence  a 
foot."  I  wish  you  could  have  seen  Bertha's  countenance  when 
he  made  that  reply. 

After  such  an  experience  I  wonder  (as  far  as  I  can  wonder  at 
anything  in  these  times)  that  none  of  those  cotton  and  worsted 
and  flax  kings  have  yet  hanged  themselves ;  that  none  of  them 
have  been  pulled  to  pieces;  that  none  of  their  factories  have 
been  destroyed  ;  that  the  very  pavement  of  the  streets  has  not 
risen  and  stoned  them. 

I  am  glad  to  see  that  Sir  H.  Neale's  treatment  is  stated  in  the 
John  Bull.  There  is  no  baseness  of  which  the  present  Ministers 


are  not  capable,  and  they  have  just  such  a  king  to  deal  with  as 
they  could  desire,  who  thinks  himself  completely  discharged  of 
all  moral  responsibility,  and  is  verily  persuaded  that  while  he 
does  what  his  Ministers  bid  him,  and  they  do  what  the  mob  bid 
them,  the  king  can  do  no  wrong  ! 

No  possible  change  can  be  foreseen  that  would  deliver  us 
from  these  profligate  men.  They  have  brought  the  country  to 
such  a  state  that  no  other  party  could  carry  on  the  government 
for  a  week ;  they  themselves  can  only  carry  it  on  during  the 
pleasure  of  the  political  unions,  unless  it  be  by  the  support  of 
those  whom  they  hate,  and  who  most  righteously  execrate  them. 
The  Conservatives  mean,  I  know  (at  least  the  better  part),  to 
stand  by  them  mercifully  against  the  Radicals,  but  to  avoid  all 
coalition  with  or  approximation  towards  them  as  they  would 
plague  or  infamy.  This  is  my  feeling. 

Grod  bless  you. 



BTJCKLAND,  February  21st,  1833. 

Two  long  letters  I  have  cost  you  lately,  dear  friend !  They 
have  not  been  wasted  on  me,  but  I  would  fain  have  spared  you 
the  second.  But  I  become  more  and  more  cowardly,  and  could 
not  resolve  to  print  my  little  stories  without  some  encouragement 
from  you ;  that  received,  I  set  to  work  briskly,  added  a  third  to 
the  two  I  had  ready,  picked  and  stole  certain  notes  from  your 
Essays  and  Colloquies,  added  some  of  the  minutes  of  Evidence 
which  had  so  disturbed  and  excited  me,  and  sent  off  my  MS. 
last  week,  as  Blackwood  wrote  to  say  he  should  be  very  glad 
to  have  it  and  print  it  immediately.  He  requested  also  to  be 


allowed  to  publish  the  tales  in  his  Magazine  separately — a  plan 
I  do  not  much  like,  neither  do  I  care  greatly  about  it,  so  I  did 
not  forbid  him,  and  he  will  do  as  he  pleases. 

I  hope  I  have  not  done  an  absurd  or  over-bold  thing  in 
inscribing  this  little  pamphlet,  trifling  as  it  is,  to  Mr.  Sadler. 
He  was  the  champion  who  first  stood  forward  in  behalf  of  those 
poor  children ;  and  all  those  who  execrate  that  horrid  system  he 
has  nobly  dared  to  expose,  and  strives  to  put  an  end  to,  must  love 
and  respect  him  for  his  humanity  and  courage ;  for  it  is  no  small 
proof  of  moral  courage  in  him,  connected  as  I  believe  he  is  with 
the  manufacturing  interests,  to  stand  forward  as  he  has  done. 
"  God  help  "  Lord  Ashley,  I  say  with  all  my  heart,  in  his  own 
words.  I  had  seen  a  newspaper  announcement  that  he  was  to 
bring  forward  Sadler's  Bill,  on  the  5th  of  March  it  was  said. 
How  eagerly  I  shall  look  for  his  speech,  and  how  my  heart 
will  go  with  him ! 

I  am  tired  to  death  of  scribbling  Lords  and  Ladies,  such  as 
Lord  Nugent,  Lord  Mulgrave,  Lady  Emmeline  Stuart  Wortley, 
and  Lady  C.  Burney;  and  I  suppose  Blackwood  will  set  me 
down  for  a  Eepublican,  for  I  told  him  I  was  sick  of  his  Helicon 
bag  of  fashion,  and  did  not  care  to  keep  such  company.  Those 
people  have  no  feeling  for  truth  and  nature — how  should  they 
in  their  artificial  atmosphere?  And  yet  they  pretend  to 
"  babble  about  green  fields  ! "  It  makes  me  mad  to  hear  them, 
as  was  Hotspur  with  him  of  the  pouncet-box.  I  like  lords  and 
ladies  in  drawing-rooms  very  much,  in  their  own  element ;  but 
let  them  keep  to  it,  and  not  prate  about  what  they  cannot 
comprehend — poor  souls.  Their  attempts  at  rural  simplicity 
always  remind  me  of  the  young  Cockney  lady  who,  being  for 
the  first  time  in  a  country  farm-yard,  asked  what  those  crea- 
tures were — meaning  the  cocks  and  hens;  and  on  being  told 
they  were  fowls,  exclaimed :  "  La !  where  are  their  livers  and 
gizzards  ?"  Your  Lord  Ashley  seems  made  of  better  stuff,  how- 
ever. Some  plants,  bury  them  how  you  will  in  rubbish  and 
darkness,  will  force  their  way  into  light  and  life. 

I  feel  no  good- will  to  those  who  have  set  you  such  a  task 
as  you  have  undertaken  for  next  summer — The  Life  of  Dr. 


Bell.     You  will  never  satisfy  the  worthy  Davies* — that  seems 

Have  I  ever  told  you  that  since  my  irreparable  loss  of  those 
kind  friends  I  have  made  a  very  agreeable,  intimate  acquaint- 
ance, who,  as  far  as  tastes  go,  suits  me  entirely  ? — further,  I 
have  not  quite  read  her  yet — a  widow  lady,  about  fifty,  having 
lost  her  only  son,  and  living  much  such  a  life  as  I  do,  among 
books,  and  flowers,  and  recollections.  She  is  by  birth  half 
Swiss,  half  Dutch  (a  good  compound),  married  at  sixteen  to  an 
Englishman,  having  lived  in  half  the  courts  of  Germany,  but 
retaining  all  her  Swiss  mountain  tastes  in  their  first  freshness. 
I  know  you  would  like  her  hugely,  and  be  amused  at  her 
originality  and  broken  English — Madame  Dayrolles  by  name, 
a  person  of  good  fortune,  and  doing  much  good  with  it,  never 
visiting  any  more  than  myself,  and  living  within  ten  minutes' 
walk  from  this  house.  This  is  a  valuable  acquisition  to  me — is 
it  not? 

I  have  a  large  glass  of  sweet  violets  at  this  moment  be- 
fore me,  perfuming  the  room.  There  is  no  checking  the 
thoughts  that  dim  my  eyes  as  I  look  at  them.  Are  they  the 
last  I  shall  pick  from  my  own  garden  ?  f  Dear  friend,  if  I  go 
hence,  as  I  believe  I  shall,  my  sorrow  will  be  all  of  the  heart. 
As  for  privations,  I  never  think  of  them  as  regards  myself. 
But  spirits  inhabit  here  with  me,  who  will  not  accompany  me 

It  is  strange  that  one  should  be  no  less  attached  to  place  by 
the  past  sorrows  we  have  suffered  in  it — nay,  more — than  by 
the  remembrance  of  happy  and  prosperous  days.  But  Gtad  is 
everywhere,  and  where  He  is  we  must  be  well.  May  He  be 
about  your  path,  and  about  your  bed,  and  keep  you  in  all  your 

And  so  farewell,  dear  friend. 


*  Dr.  Bell's  secretary. 

f  In  consequence  of  the  apprehended  loss  of  her  annuity  from  Mr. 
Bruce,  and  the  departure  from  her  house  which  such  loss  would  entail. 



KESWICK,  March  llth,  1833. 

Murray's  sin  is  great  enough,  God  knows,  in  publishing 
those  books  of  Lord  Byron's,  which  very  many  persons  would 
have  been  ashamed  to  have  seen  in  their  possession,  before  they 
appeared  in  this  edition.  As  to  what  regards  myself,  he  is  al- 
together blameless.  I  dare  say  he  would  have  destroyed  that 
dedication  if  he  could ;  but  Byron  took  care  that  nothing  of 
this  kind  should  be  lost,  and  his  friends  have  been  equally 
careful.  You  see  it  was  not  possible  to  keep  the  libel  upon 
Rogers  secret,  though  it  shows  the  writer  to  have  been  the 
most  treacherous  of  mankind.  The  very  persons  who  cry  out 
against  Lady  Blessington  for  bringing  this  to  light  are  most 
likely  the  same  who  had  the  dedication  of  Don  Juan  printed 
upon  a  broadside,  for  popular  sale  in  the  streets.  If  Murray 
had  omitted  it  in  this  edition,  when  some  of  the  journals  called 
for  its  insertion,  he  would  have  exposed  himself  to  attacks  that 
would  have  annoyed  him ;  and  he  knew  very  well  that  the 
publication  could  neither  annoy  nor  injure  me. 

I  have  not  yet  seen  how  my  first  volume  looks  when  put 
together  ;  it  may  perhaps  be  here  on  Thursday  next,  for  I  am 
patient  enough  to  let  it  travel  by  wagon.  My  greatest 
pleasure  in  a  book  of  my  own  is  in  cutting  open  the  leaves 
as  soon  as  it  comes. 

You  ought  not  to  have  felt  any  misgivings  about  your  Tales  of 
the  Factories.  The  question  cui  bono  is  very  easily  answered  there. 
It  is  doing  great  good  to  impress,  as  you  will  do,  upon  all  those 
into  whose  hands  your  verses  will  come,  a  deep  sense  of  their 
abominable  inhumanity — the  great  national  sin — for  it  is  such, 
more  truly  a  national  sin  than  ever  the  Slave  Trade  has  been. 
Lord  Ashley's  Bill  came  to  me  by  the  morning's  post.  No  doubt 
it  is  exactly  what  Sadler  would  have  brought  in,  for  Sadler 


is  in  town  to  advise  him;  and  though  it  asks  for  too  littl* 
far,  far  too  little — this  has  been  a  matter  of  prudence. 

March  18. — Yesterday  brought  us  what  is  one  of  the  rarest 
of  rare  animals  in  this  place  at  this  season,  and  what,  though 
common  enough  in  Keswick  during  the  laking  months,  is  even 
then  a  rarity  within  these  doors — a  franker,  to  wit.  A  warm 
contest  is  going  on  for  West  Cumberland,  and  this  has  brought 
down  the  existing  Member  to  support  and  propose  one  of  the 
candidates.  The  said  franker  is  a  new  Member  and  "  full  of 
Parliament,"  as  poor  Green  the  Ambleside  artist  tells  us,  he 
was  "of  dinner"  one  day  when  he  began  to  ascend  a  mountain. 
Green,  however,  would  be  the  better  for  his  dinner,  though  a 
mountain  climb  was  not  likely  to  assist  his  stomach  in  digesting 
it.  But  to  be  full  of  Parliament  is  not  much  better  than  to  be 
full  of  flatulence.  He  told  me  more  than  I  had  before  learned 
of  the  blackguard  insolence  which  the  mob-members  seek  every 
opportunity  of  displaying,  and  which  is  likely  to  have  some 
good  effect,  by  disgusting  those  who  have  any  sense  of  good 
manners,  and  any  respect  for  the  old  decencies  and  civilities  of 
society.  Our  trust  at  this  time  must  be  wholly  in  Providence — 
there  are  now  no  secondary  helps  to  look  to.  The  Conservatives 
are  without  a  leader,  and  not  likely  to  find  one.  Peel  wants 
confidence  in  the  strength  which  he  really  possesses,  and  in  that 
of  his  cause ;  he  wants  warmth  and  heart  also  ;  it  seems  as  if  he 
did  not  feel  what  he  believes :  and  that  his  principles,  having 
their  root  in  his  understanding,  had  struck  no  deeper.  The 
Ministers  trust  to  this  party  for  support  against  the  Destruc- 
tives, and  to  the  Destructives  for  support  against  them.  The 
measures  with  regard  to  the  English  Church  are  concerted  with 
such  secrecy  that  the  bishops  know  nothing  about  them.  Lock- 
hart  writes  me  that  we  are  on  the  eve  of  some  collision  with  the 
House  of  Lords :  "  the  Lords,"  he  says,  "  may  not  die  in  the 
right  ditch,  but  die  they  must."  I  think  another  collision  is 
nearer,  and  one  that  with  God's  help  may  save  us.  O'Connell 
will  go  all  lengths  in  Ireland.  When  he  heard  the  substance 
of  Lord  Grey's  speech,  which  was  reported  to  him  in  one  of  the 
passages  between  the  Houses  of  Lords  and  Commons,  he  took 


off  his  hat  (a  new  one),  put  it  on  the  ground  and  stamped  the 
crown  of  it  out,  saying  there  was  another  crown  which  he  should 
dispose  of  in  the  same  way.  Mr.  Stanley  tells  me  there  were 
many  witnesses  of  this.  So  soon  as  he  gives  the  word  for  open 
rebellion  in  Ireland,  his  allies  here,  the  Political  Unions,  will 
show  themselves  in  support  of  the  Murder  Unions.  We  may 
look  for  insurrection ;  and  they  will  be  put  down  ;  and  such  a 
turn  will  then  take  place  in  public  opinion,  that  we  shall  then 
effect  the  now  necessary  Reform  in  Parliament.  "With  this 
Parliament,  or  such  a  Parliament  as  this,  no  government  can 
be  carried  on.  "We  must  have  a  Reform  which  will  exclude  the 
blackguards;  and  luckily  there  are  gentlemen  enough  in  the 
House  at  present  to  outnumber  them. 

I  am  looking  daily  and  wishfully  for  your  little  book. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  April  Uth,  1833. 

Many  years  it  cannot  be,  in  the  course  of  nature,  before  we 
shall  meet  in  a  better  world,  even  were  we  both  to  live  out  the 
full  term  of  ordinary  life.  You  have  seen  Quarles'  Hiero- 
glyphics of  the  life  of  man — a  candle  graduated  from  the  age 
of  ten,  by  tens,  to  four-score.  Mine  has  just  burnt  down  to 
three-score,  and  if  I  live  till  the  12th  of  August  next  I  shall 
enter  upon  my  sixtieth  year.  Sixteen  years  we  have  known 
each  other,  and  nothing  can  be  more  unlikely  than  that  our 
earthly  intercourse  should  be  prolonged  to  as  many  years  more. 
"Whichever  goes  first  will  be  spared  a  poignant  feeling  here, 
and  have  the  joy  of  bidding  the  other  welcome  to  our  new 
country.  Meanwhile,  every  day  brings  us  nearer  to  it,  and 


whatever  we  do  to  render  ourselves  useful  here  by  our  writings 
will  be  rendering  ourselves  fitter  for  the  change. 

Your  picture  will  be  prized  as  a  treasure,  and  you  may  be 
assured  that  it  shall  have  a  place  of  honour.  A  treasure  it  will 
be  now,  and  a  great  one  hereafter,  to  those  who  can  attach  no 
such  feeling  to  it  as  I  shall  do. 

As  for  my  letter,*  the  whole  business  about  it  has  been 
managed  and  mismanaged  between  Murray  and  Lockhart, 
without  any  communication  to  me :  they  agreed  to  put  it  in  the 
Review  without  my  having  dreamt  of  such  a  destination  for  it : 
of  course  I  was  very  much  pleased  with  the  arrangement ;  and 
then  they  determined  with  just  as  little  ceremony  to  leave  it 
out,  and  with  this  of  course  I  am  not  pleased.  But  the  first 
thing  I  did,  upon  hearing  it  was  to  appear  as  a  pamphlet  after 
all,  was  to  desire  that  Henry  Taylor  would  obtain  an  official 
frank  for  conveying  one  to  you.  I  have  not  taken  any  notice 
of  the  matter  yet,  either  to  Lockhart  or  Murray.  You  know  it 
is  my  way  to  take  all  things  easily  that  can  be  taken  so ;  and  by 
the  time  I  may  find  it  necessary  to  write,  my  displeasure  will 
have  passed  away.  It  takes  a  great  deal  to  make  me  angry, 
yet  you  will  see  by  the  epistle  that  upon  a  proper  occasion  I 
can  show  a  proper  resentment  of  ill  usage. 

The  Naval  History  occupies  my  evenings,  and  I  must  go 
over  to  Lowther  on  account  of  it  as  soon  as  the  clergyman  there 
(an  old  acquaintance)  can  receive  me,  which  he  will  be  glad  to 
do.  The  family  are  not  at  the  Castle,  so  that  I  cannot  take  up 
my  quarters  there,  as  I  otherwise  should.  My  motive  for  going 
is  that  there  is  a  set  of  Kymer's  Fcedera  there.  The  republica- 
tion  of  that  work  by  the  Eecord  Commission  carried  me 
through  my  first  volume,  but  there  it  ended ;  and  I  expect  to 
find  much  matter  which  has  escaped  my  predecessors,  from  the 
reign  of  Richard  II.  to  that  of  Henry  VIII.  Two  or  three 
mornings  doggedly  devoted  to  this  in  the  library  will  probably 

Adam  Clarke's  Life  is  lying  for  me  in  London.     I  passed 

*  To  Lord  Nugent. 


an  evening  in  his  company  as  far  back  as  the  year  1800,  and 
have  had  three  or  four  letters  from  him  in  later  years.  He 
was  the  most  learned  man  the  Methodists  have  ever  had  among 
them.  I  wish  the  book  had  reached  me,  for  I  expect  to  find 
in  it  much  that  is  interesting.  Another  of  my  Methodist  ac- 
quaintances (for  you  know  I  have  acquaintances  of  all  sorts) 
has  spoilt  what,  if  he  had  given  in  the  genuine  book,  would 
have  been  one  of  the  greatest  curiosities  in  literature — "The 
Village  Blacksmith,  or  the  Life  of  Samuel  Hick."  I  intend  to 
review  it  when  I  can ;  but  in  this  way  it  is  not  likely  that  I  can 
do  much  this  year,  as  the  only  time  which  can  be  given  to  it 
must  be  in  the  morning,  between  the  hours  of  eleven  and  two, 
after  Cuthbert's  lessons  are  done,  and  before  I  take  my  daily 
walk ;  and  in  those  hours  it  is  that  I  must  write  my  letters  also, 
which,  as  you  may  suppose,  very  often  occupy  them  entirely. 

The  Factory  Bill  will  be  carried  in  spite  of  the  Commission. 
This  is  one  of  the  occasions  on  which  the  Conservatives  as  a 
party  have  manifested  an  equal  want  of  sense  and  principle. 
If  they  had  not  been  both  headless  and  heartless,  they  would 
have  eagerly  occupied  a  popular  ground,  which  was  open  for 
them  here. 

Dear  Caroline,  Grod  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  July  1st,  1833. 

We  had  a  most  remarkable  preacher  from  Ireland  here — 
Archdeacon  Trench,  brother  to  the  Archbishop  of  Tuam.  His 
sermon  was  extempore  and  evangelical,  but  good  of  its  kind,  and 
as  methodical  as  if  it  had  been  composed  and  written.  Never 
did  I  see  so  much  gesticulation  in  the  pulpit;  never,  indeed, 
more  upon  the  stage.  If  his  head  had  not  been  well  hung,  off  it 


must  have  come.  This,  however,  was  not  mere  acting,  for  in 
conversation  his  head  and  features  are  in  the  same  earnest 
exercise,  and  his  arms  in  as  much  motion  as  he  can  safely 
indulge  in.  On  the  whole,  a  very  remarkable  person,  and  never 
to  be  forgotten  by  those  who  have  heard  and  seen  him. 

Mrs.  Austin  has  sent  me  her  Characteristics  of  Goethe.  I 
had  seen  her  as  a  child,  and  though  she  is  connected  with 
everything  that  is  Liberal  and  Radical,  some  of  that  circle  have 
a  degree  of  tolerance  towards  me,  of  which  this  presentation  is 
an  instance.  The  book  was  brought  here  by  Henry  Eobinson, 
a  great  friend  of  Wordsworth's,  and  something  more  than  an 
acquaintance  of  mine.  If  you  read  the  book  you  will  see  some 
communication  in  it  from  him,  signed  "H.  C.  B.,"  for  he  has 
been  much  in  Germany. 

There  is  perhaps  no  other  writer  with  whom  I  find  myself  so 
often  both  in  sympathy  and  in  dyspathy  as  with  Goethe.  Our 
understandings  often  come  to  the  same  result,  our  feelings  often 
coincide,  our  fancies  sometimes  meet ;  and  yet  the  antipathies  are 
not  less  frequent,  and  are,  on  the  whole,  the  stronger.  I  can  like 
persons  who  are  very  different  from  myself  in  all  things ;  but  it 
seems  to  me  that,  though  Goethe  was  very  far  from  an  un- 
amiable  man,  I  never  could  have  liked  him,  and  that  no 
intellectual  sympathy  could  ever  have  overcome  this  dislike. 
His  political  opinions  and  feelings  were  as  conservative  as 
mine;  but  his  infidelity  has  given  a  pernicious  tendency  to 
many  of  his  writings,  and  made  him  thus  a  promoter  of  that 
revolutionary  spirit  which  was  what  he  most  detested. 

His  notions  of  immortality  were  almost  as  wild  as  poor 
Mr.  Hope's,  and  not  a  whit  more  consolatory,  or  good  for  any- 

You  will  read  the  book,  and  will  be  offended  with  many 
ugly  Germanisms  in  the  language,  or  rather,  words  taken  from 
the  German.  But  there  is  much  that  will  interest  you.  It  is  a 
fact  which  ought  to  be  brought  out  in  the  strongest  light,  that 
a  petty  German  sovereign,  whose  dominions  do  not  exceed 
equal  the  estates  of  some  of  our  great  nobles,  and  whose 
revenues  fall  very  far  short  of  many  a  merchant's  and  manu- 

T  2 


facturer's  income,  has  done  more  for  the  literature  of  his 
country  (that  is  for  Germany)  than  any  king  or  emperor  ever 
did  for  the  literature  of  any  country,  or  any  age. 

Did  I  tell  you  that  Eumpelstilzchen  died  in  peace  about  six 
weeks  ago,  and  was  deposited  in  the  orchard,  where  some  cat- 
mint will  be  planted,  to  mark  the  spot  and  gratify  his  ghost,  if 
it  should  walk?  Poor  Rumpel,  for  two  or  three  months  he 
showed  such  marks  of  decay  that  we  wished  for  his  decease, 
and  yet  it  saddened  us  all  when  it  took  place,  and  we  heard 
that  he  had  been  lying  dead  under  a  hedge  in  the  adjoining 
field.  Cats'  Eden  is  in  possession  of  his  posterity,  and  happy 
man  would  be  my  dole  if  I  could  make  others  as  happy  as  my 
family  of  cats  are  made.  They  have  everything  that  a  cat's 
heart  can  desire.  I  am  to  them  what  the  Duke  of  Saxe- 
Weimar  was  to  Goethe  and  the  other  men  of  letters ;  and  they 
seem  to  know  and  acknowledge.  Knurry  has  a  kitten  just 
coming  to  perfection ;  its  name  is 


and  its  title 

The  Wae-wei. 

(rod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



BUCKLAND,  July  19th,  1833. 

I  shall  get  Mrs.  Austin's  book  certainly.  I  can  perfectly 
comprehend  your  sentiments  in  regard  to  Goethe.  It  is  your 
heart  and  your  nobler  nature  and  nobler  aspirations  which  revolt 
against  the  earthly  and  sensual  character  of  his.  Goethe  may 
have  been  an  inspired  writer,  but  his  inspiration  was  not  from 
above;  and  who  has  ever  risen  the  purer,  the  better,  or  the 


happier  from  the  purest  and  best  of  his  writings?  Admira- 
tion, disappointment,  and  disgust  has  been,  I  think,  the 
sequence  of  feeling  with  which  I  have  read  them. 

Do  you  not  think  Schiller,  as  a  tragic  writer,  far  superior  to 
Goethe,  and  Korner  in  some  of  his  lyrical  pieces  ?  Pray  tell  me 
if  your  Dutch  friend  Bilderdijk  still  lives. 

I  was  not  a  little  amused  in  reading  Goethe's  memoirs,  when 
they  came  out  some  years  ago,  to  find  almost  a  facsimile  of  one 
of  the  freaks  of  my  solitary  childhood  among  the  reminiscences 
of  his.  Do  you  remember  where  he  describes  his  fanciful  conse- 
cration of  a  sort  of  altar  (I  forget  where)  on  which  he  was  for 
some  time  in  the  habit  of  offering  daily  oblations  of  fruit  and 
flowers?  When  I  was  about  seven  or  eight  years  old,  I  built  up 
a  little  altar  of  turf  in  the  most  private  nook  of  our  garden,  and 
every  morning  for,  I  believe,  a  whole  summer  brought  to  it  an 
offering  of  flowers,  placing  them  on  the  green  mound  with 
feelings  of  reverential  awe.  That  I  well  remember,  and  also  my 
confused  sense  of  something  wrong  in  the  act,  which  made  me 
keep  it  a  profound  secret  from  my  father  and  mother,  and  in 
the  end  troubled  my  mind  so  much  that  I  demolished  and  des- 
troyed all  traces  of  my  dear  little  altar,  though  with  many  tears 
and  remorseful  hesitation.  But  my  offering  was  made  to  the 
one  true  God,  in  the  fervour  of  a  heart  and  mind  full  of  the  poetic 
beauty  of  Eve's  morning  sacrifices  described  in  The  Death  of 
Abel;  Goethe's  were  to  the  heathen  deities.* 

Surely  you  will  immortalize  Eumpel  in  immortal  verse.  I 
must  go  to  Pekin  to  learn  to  pronounce  his  descendant's  name, 
which  will  effectually  prevent  the  possibility  of  its  being 
pitched  into  rhyme.  I  like  his  title  extremely. 

I  have  had  to  undergo  a  real,  sharp  heart-twinge  this  week, 
in  pronouncing  sentence  on  my  dear  old  pony,  my  faithful 
servant,  and  no  small  favourite  of  fifteen  years'  standing.  I 
had  been  offered  a  run  for  life  for  him  by  two  kind  friends  here 
and  at  Lyndhurst,  but  the  poor  old  animal  being  diseased  as  well 
as  old,  I  thought  it  would  be  no  mercy  to  him  to  close  with  the 

*  This  was  not  so ;  see  Dichtung  und  Wahrheit,  B.  I. 


proposal.  I  have  not  often  felt  a  more  painful  contraction  of 
the  heart  than  when  I  patted  his  sleek  coat  for  the  last  time, 
and  he  looked  round  at  me  with  "  eyes  of  human  meaning. " 
"Women  are  not  often  so  situated  as  to  be  compelled  to  pro- 
nounce words  so  painful.  It  is  no  enviable  privilege  of  indepen- 
dence, and  unhappily  I  do  not  find  I  become  "used  to  it,"  as 
the  eels  do  to  skinning. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 


Your  friend  Satan  Montgomery  has  not  improved  upon 
his  former  publications  in  that  he  has  just  given  to  the 
world.  Kind  as  his  intentions  towards  us  are,  I  must  say  I 
never  read  a  more  dull  and  heavy  poem,  one  more  ill-arranged 
and  devoid  of  interest  than  "  Woman  the  Angel  of  Life."  I 
owe  him  a  grudge  for  tacking  that  syllable  "  Mont "  on  to  his 
real  patronymic  "  Gomery,"  and  so  cheating  people  "  who 
swear  by  a  name"  into  the  belief  that  he  is  the  Montgomery. 
I  do  beg  and  entreat  you  will  undertake  the  task  of  making 
mince-meat  (such  as  you  can  make)  of  my  very  dear  friend  and 
admirer,  Simon  Pure,  viz.,  William  Howitt.  He  has  shown 
the  cloven  foot  with  a  vengeance,  and  horns  and  tail  beside. 


KESWICK,  August  4*A,  1833. 

Next  week,  if  I  live  so  long,  I  enter  upon  my  sixtieth  year. 
Sixteen  have  elapsed  since  we  became  known  to  each  other. 
Before  another  such  term  has  run  out,  we  may  meet  in  eternity; 
in  the  ordinary  course  of  nature  my  departure  is  not  likely  to  be 
deferred  so  long.  It  is  but  a  little  way  to  look  on;  and  I  look 
to  it  as  I  used  to  do  in  my  youth  to  the  end  of  a  long  day's  walk 
— not  with  the  feeling  of  one  who  is  weary  of  his  labours,  but 


with  a  willingness  to  be  at  rest;  and  the  satisfaction  of  knowing 
assuredly  that  there  will  be  that  rest  for  me.  Certainly  if  I 
had  been  an  old  Roman  I  should  not  have  waited  for  the  slow 
process  of  nature,  but  would  have  quitted  my  tenement  before 
it  fell  to  ruins. 

The  portrait  has  not  yet  arrived.  From  a  fortnight  to  three 
weeks  is  the  usual  time  upon  the  road;  so  it  may  be  looked  for 
every  carrier's  day  till  it  arrives,  and  we  have  four  in  the  week. 
I  am  looking  by  the  same  channel  for  a  parcel  of  catalogue- 
books,  among  which  is  the  old  French  romance  of  Astrea  whichr 
I  have  wished  for  years  to  possess.  Nearly  thirty  years  ago  I 
read  it  in  the  very  vilest  of  all  vile  translations,  but  the  original 
has  such  a  charm  of  natural  style  that  Fontaine  made  it  his- 
study.  You  may  marvel,  perhaps,  that  I,  who  take  so  little 
delight  in  modern  romances  that  I  scarcely  cut  their  leaves  when 
they  are  sent  me,  should  continue  to  peruse  old  ones  whenever 
they  come  in  my  way  with  as  much  delight  as  I  did  forty  years 
ago.  But  so  it  is,  and  it  would  not  be  difficult  to  explain  why 
it  is  so,  and  why  it  ought  to  be  so. 

I  hope  the  Monster  has  sent  you  Captain  Hamilton's  Men  and 
Manners  in  America.  The  author  has  sent  it  me.  He  lives  at 
E-ydal,  and  is  in  appearance  what  Don  Quixote  would  have  been  if 
his  countenance  had  not  been  rueful.  The  book  will  amuse  you, 
but  it  will  leave  a  very  painful  feeling  concerning  the  Ameri- 
cans. The  other  day  we  had  a  New  Englander  here,  from  whom 
I  gathered  that  what  may  be  called  the  gentry  in  America  live 
in  the  fear  of  the  multitude ;  that  they  dread  the  progress  of 
democracy,  yet  are  afraid  to  utter  a  thought  in  opposition  to  it ; 
and  that  no  man,  however  rich,  dares  maintain  an  establish- 
ment the  cost  of  which  would  exceed  £2000  a  year.  The  best 
private  library  in  the  United  States  is  said  to  be  that  of  Professor 
Ticknor,  a  correspondent  of  mine,  and  a  very  interesting  per- 
son ;  it  is  not  so  large  a  library  as  my  own ! 

He  tells  me  that,  in  proportion  to  the  population,  madness 
is  more  frequent  in  America  than  in  England,  and  that  the 
most  frequent  cause  is  political  excitement — ambition  among 
a  people  where  every  man  thinks  every  office  to  be  within  his 


reach,  and  where  some  kind  of  election  is  always  going  on. 
This  is  a  sad  picture ;  yet,  in  America,  the  better  minds  look 
with  alarm  upon  the  course  which  we  are  taking  in  England. 
Ticknor  in  his  last  letter  hints  at  the  possibility  that  the 
changes  and  chances  of  this  world  may  bring  me  and  mine  to 
Boston.  I  think  this  country,  whatever  be  the  evils  that  await 
it,  has  less  to  go  through  than  the  United  States.  "We  shall 
save  more  from  the  wreck  than  they  can  hope  during  many 
generations  to  build  up. 

Monday,  5th. — The  portrait  has  just  arrived  safely.  It  is  a 
delightful  picture  as  well  as  a  very  good  likeness.  Thank  you, 
dear  Caroline,  thank  you,  thank  you  !  The  place  for  which  I  in- 
tended it  will  prove,  I  fear,  too  high  for  my  sight,  which  has  so 
far  decayed  that  objects  at  a  distance  are  indistinct,  though  for 
reading  and  writing  it  serves  as  well  as  ever.  I  fear  another 
situation  must  be  looked  for.  I  meant  it  to  have  crowned  one 
of  the  bookcases,  as  Kirke  White  does. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  Let  me  hear  of  you,  not  that  I 
may  think  the  less,  but  the  less  anxiously. 




KESWICK,  August  2Qth,  1833. 

You  may  suppose  how  earnestly  I  have  been  engaged,  and 
how  unmercifully  interrupted,  to  have  let  your  last  letter  remain 
till  now  unanswered,  when  I  would  fain  have  replied  to  it 
instantly.  Take  the  history  of  Saturday  last  as  a  sample.  Mr. 
Phillips,  a  Melksham  clothier  and  his  wife,  introduced  by  my 
aunt  Hill's  relations,  the  Awdrys,  breakfasted  here ;  good- 
natured,  pleasant,  sensible  people,  though  the  husband  is  a  little 
be-whigged.  When  they  were  gone  I  sat  down  to  make  up  my 
despatches  with  some  proof-sheets  for  the  post.  Before  this  could 


be  completed  I  was  called  down  to  Mr.  J.  Thornton  (Reginald 
Heber's  fellow-traveller),  his  son  and  two  of  his  daughters.  He 
opened  upon  me  such  a  torrent  of  words  that  in  the  course  of  at 
least  an  hour  and  half's  visit,  during  which  it  ceased  only  for 
half-minutes,  I  wished  myself  repeatedly  in  the  bed  of  Lodore 
or  under  Scale  Force  for  comparative  repose.  Toward  the  end  of 
this  awful  visitation  in  came  our  curate,  Mr.  Whiteside,  just 
returned  from  Ireland  with  his  brother-in-law,  full  of  remem- 
brances and  messages  to  me,  none  of  which  he  could  deliver 
while  the  Thornton  cataract  was  in  force.  Of  course  he  out- 
stayed this  dreadful  linguist,  that  he  might  say  his  say,  which  I 
was  willing  enough  to  hear,  though  more  willing  at  last  to  get 
up  to  my  unfinished  packet.  Well,  I  had  got  to  the  inclosure 
when  the  bell  rang  again,  and  I  am  introduced  to  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Mocatta  by  a  note  from  Henry  Coleridge  ;  he,  the  son  of  a  rich 
English  Jew,  but  himself  withheld  from  becoming  openly  a 
member  of  the  Church  of  England  by  due  respect  to  the  in- 
vincible feelings  of  an  aged  father  ;  she,  the  daughter  of 
English  parents  but  born  at  Santa  Cruz.  Caraccas  is  their 
home,  and  they  have  both  travelled  much  in  North  America. 
As  they  were  to  depart  the  next  morning,  we  had  them  that 
evening  to  tea.  A  very  agreeable  evening  it  was ;  but  except 
in  making  up  my  covers  for  the  proof-sheets,  and  writing  a 
note  with  them  to  Dr.  Lardner,  not  a  line  could  I  write  that 
day,  and  the  last  callers  deprived  me  of  my  usual  walk. 
You  told  me  truly  when  you  said  that  Adam  Clarke's 
would  delight  me.  It  reached  me  last  week,  and  very  long  it  is 
since  I  have  read  so  delightful  a  book.  Charles  Fox  who  is 
spoken  of  there  is  the  person  mentioned  in  Espriella,  who  when 
his  house  was  on  fire,  and  it  was  evident  that  nothing  could  be 
saved,  retired  to  a  convenient  distance,  and  made  a  drawing  of 
the  scene.  I  knew  him  well,  and  met  Adam  Clarke  at  his  house. 
I  have  profiles  of  him,  his  wife,  and  the  parrot  which  used  to 
take  its  place  upon  the  tea  board,  make  free  with  the  sugar,  and 
call  him  father.  I  mentioned  this  in  a  letter  to  good  old  Adam, 
and  his  son  lately  applied  to  me  for  copies  of  the  profiles,  which 
of  course  I  had  great  pleasure  in  sending  him. 


Could  anything  be  so  brutal  as  that  poor  man's  treatment  at 
Kingswood  school?  The  Simpson,  husband  to  the  she-devil 
who  pickled  poor  Adam,  I  remember  well,  having  heard  him 
preach  in  my  early  boyhood.  There  is  a  portrait  of  Adam 
Clarke  in  one  of  the  early  volumes  of  the  "  Arminian  Maga- 
zine," looking  very  much  as  he  must  have  looked  when  he  was 
in  pickle,  and  with  some  such  words  as  "  A  Babe  of  Grace  " 
underwit.  Some  thirty  years  later  another  portrait  appeared  in 
the  "  Methodist  Magazine "  (which  is  a  continuation  of  the 
Arminian  under  a  more  profitable  title),  and  there  he  looks 
like  a  respectable,  and  even  dignified  clergyman  and  scholar. 
I  should  like  to  get  both  these  to  insert  in  his  Life. 

Your  picture  could  not  be  placed  where  I  had  intended ;  the 
position  was  too  high.  I  have  hoisted  an  oil  portrait  of  myself 
there,  and  placed  you  in  the  vacancy  thus  made,  which  is  in  the 
parlour  opposite  my  place  at  tea,  and  in  the  precious  hour  after 
supper  when  I  have  always  one  of  my  great  old  books,  for  a 
composing  draught.  Mufti's  languish  is  most  excellent.  I 
would  send  my  best  compliments  and  respects  to  him,  if  he 
could  understand  the  message. 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 



BUCKLAKD,  September  ISth,  1833. 

Dear  friend,  I  possess  so  scanty  a  stock  of  that  commodity  in 
which  you  abound — patience,  that  it  fretted  me  to  read  the  history 
of  your  day  as  an  epitome  of  what  you  are  subjected  to  during  the 
touring  season.  If  time  so  precious  were  but  spent  on  people 
who  could  appreciate  the  sacrifice  and  him  who  makes  it,  it  would 
be  something;  but  to  think  that  half  your  gazers  at  least  are 
animal  machines  on  whom  a  donkey  stuffed  into  the  lion's  skin 


would  at  any  time  pass  for  the  lion  himself — that  makes  me 
savage,  and  your  patience  provokes  me  into  more  spitefulness. 
What  a  dragon  I  should  prove  if  I  had  to  guard  the  entrance 
of  your  den !  I  have  the  reputation  of  being  rather  dangerous 
if  disturbed  in  my  own,  by  people  who  neither  care  for  me,  nor 
I  for  them. 

I  have  had  little  time  for  reading  of  late,  and  have  read 
little.  The  Characteristics  of  Goethe  I  have,  however,  looked 
over  rather  than  read,  with  more  interest  than  I  should  other- 
wise have  felt,  from  what  you  had  written  me  concerning  the 
book.  It  is  a  strangely  put  together  work :  mal  comu  the  French 
would  call  it ;  some  portions  very  interesting,  and  those  relating 
to  the  Grand  Duke  and  Duchess  eminently  so.  My  Swiss  friend, 
Mrs.  Dayrolles,  has  lived  much  at  Weimar  in  the  familiar  society 
of  that  admirable  woman  the  Grand  Duchess  Luise.  She  speaks 
of  her  with  enthusiasm. 

I  knew  you  must  delight  in  Adam  Clarke.  Poor  dear 
Adam !  his  patience  in  pickle  can  only  be  equalled  by  yours 
with  the  tourists. 

Grod's  blessing  be  with  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  October  12th,  1833. 

I  have  seldom  sate  down  to  write  to  you  with  more  satisfac- 
tion than  at  this  time,  having,  after  working  at  it  most  doggedly 
for  the  last  nine  days,  sent  off  the  conclusion  of  my  second 
volume  to  Dionysius  the  cabinet-maker  this  morning.*  When  I 
tell  you  that  for  the  last  three  days  I  have  not  written  less  than 

*  The  second  volume  of  the  Naval  History;  Dionysius,  i.e.,  Dionysius 
Lardner,  Editor  of  the  Cabinet  Cyclopedia. 


nine  of  the  printed  pages  per  day,  you  will  perceive  that  I  must 
have  been  at  it  tooth  and  nail.  The  truth  is  that,  owing  to 
interruptions  in  the  last  three  months  which  you  can  very  well 
understand,  and  to  the  sinful  propensity  for  "  doing  something 
else"  (which  you  can  also  comprehend)  in  the  three  preceding 
ones,  I  was  run  hard,  even  to  the  very  last  day.  My  brother 
<jame  here  on  Sunday  the  29th,  and  remained  till  the  Thursday 
following  ;  of  course  my  mornings  were  given  to  him,  and  most 
of  my  evenings  also ;  but  since  his  departure  I  laid  aside  letter- 
writing  (except  for  one  morning  which  letters  of  business  de- 
manded) and  everything  else,  and  stuck  to  this :  though  I  did 
not  omit  my  daily  walk,  nor  give  up  my  after-dinner  sleep. 
Both  these  I  deemed  neceseary.  Dr.  Bell's  two  hours  were 
borrowed  for  the  occasion.  When  the  concluding  sentence  had 
been  written  this  morning  I  danced  about  the  room  for  joy ; 
and  you  have  here  the  first  offering  of  my  leisure.  The  volume 
itself  you  will  receive  from  the  Longmans  as  soon  as  it  is  pub- 

Last  week  I  ascended  Scawfell  with  my  brother.  Eight- 
and-twenty  years  ago  we  put  off  the  ascent  till  a  more  con- 
venient season,  and  we  agreed  now  that  it  was  not  prudent  to 
postpone  it  farther.  So  we  went  on  wheels  the  nine  miles  to 
Seathwaite  and  were  afterwards  seven  hours  in  going  up  and 
down.  Cuthbert,  Warter,  and  Errol  Hill  were  of  the  party. 

To-day  brought  me  a  letter  from,  apparently,  a  young 
American,  who,  because  the  Colloquies  have  won  his  heart, 
inclosed  me  an  autograph  letter  of  Washington's.  Just  as 
this  American  feels  towards  me,  I  always  feel  towards  those 
of  other  ages  by  whose  works  or  whose  lives  I  have  been  inte- 
rested ;  and  often  think  what  a  pleasure  it  will  be  to  see  them 
face  to  face  in  another  world,  and  claim  acquaintance  with  them 
upon  that  score.  Think  of  paying  my  dutiful  respects  to  Laud 
and  Cranmer,  shaking  hands  with  Spenser,  and  getting  Sir 
Philip  Sidney  to  present  me  to  Queen  Elizabeth !  Think  of 
seeing  Wesley  again,  actually  conversing  with  Sir  Thomas 
More,  and  claiming  connexion  with  Izaak  Walton  as  a  kins- 
man of  Kenna  his  wife  !  There  is  an  article  in  the  Creed 


that  warrants  these  expectations ;  and  what  a  poor  thing  were 
life  if  it  did  not  give  us  these  inheritances  from  the  past 
and  this  reversion  for  the  future  ! 

You  will  not  be  sorry  to  hear  that  I  am  treating  with 
Moxon  concerning  a  series  of  "  Lives  of  the  English  Divines,"^ 
to  accompany  a  series  of  selections  from  their  works,  under  some 
such  title  as  '^Christian Philosophy ;  exemplified  in,"&c.  My  plan 
is  not  to  insert  whole  sermons,  but  their  pithiest  parts,  which 
many  will  read  when  thus  presented  to  them,  and  which  will 
induce  some  to  drink  their  fill  at  the  original  sources.  The 
Lives  should  be  upon  the  scale  of  Johnson's  "  Lives  of  the 
Poets,"  and  form  a  constituent  and  essential  part  of  our  literary^ 
history,  and  there  should  be  an  introduction  containing  a  review 
of  that  part  of  theological  literature  relating  to  religious  instruc- 
tion, down  to  the  time  of  Elizabeth,  when  the  lives  and  selec- 
tions would  begin.  If  we  come  to  an  agreement  (which  is 
likely),  this  is  a  task  upon  which  I  shall  enter  with  great  good 

Have  you  read  Zophiel?  probably  not;  or  you  would  have-" 
mentioned  it.  It  is  not  always  perspicuous ;  though  I  do  not 
know  any  poet  whose  diction  is  naturally  so  good  as  Mrs. 
Brooks's — naturally,  I  say,  because  it  is  not  in  her  the  effect  of 
study,  and  of  art.  I  have  never  seen  a  more  passionate  work, 
rarely  one  so  imaginative  and  original.  There  is  a  song*  in  the 
last  canto  which  in  its  kind  is  as  good  as  Sappho's  famous  ode 
has  been  thought  to  be.  You  would  like  the  poem  better  if  you 
had  seen  the  authoress ;  how  gentle  and  how  feminine  she  is,  how 
sensible  of  any  little  kindness,  and  how  full  of  feeling.  I  had  no 
wish  to  see  her,  and  was  almost  as  much  vexed  as  surprised  when 
she  let  me  know  that  she  was  in  Keswick.  I  went  to  call  upon 
her  unwillingly  ;  but  my  visit  was  an  hour  long,  and  during  the 
few  weeks  that  she  continued  here  she  won  the  liking  of  all  this 
household  in  a  very  great  degree. 

And  now,  dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you.     If  you  can  tell  me  that 
you  are  at  ease  in  body  and  in  mind,  it  will  be  the  best  tidings 

*  "  Day  in  melting  purple  dying,"  &c. 


that  I  can  hope  to  hear.  As  for  public  affairs,  one  revolutionary 
symptom  follows  another,  and,  looking  to  human  causes,  the 
only  consolatory  consideration  is  that  as  everything  is  likely  to 
be  overthrown  without  a  struggle,  so  there  is  a  possibility  that 
when  the  mischief  is  done  and  the  necessity  of  repairing  all  that 
can  be  repaired  is  felt,  there  may  be  as  little  resistance  made  to 
the  work  of  restoration. — Sunday  13th. 

Once  more  Grod  bless  you. 



BTJCKLAND,  October  21st,  1833. 

Dear  friend,  if  anything  could  have  made  me  dance  for  joy 
it  would  have  been  the  sight  of  your  handwriting-,  for  I  had 
been  sorely  troubled  by  your  long  silence,  though  always  en- 
deavouring to  reason  myself  into  a  belief  of  the  true  cause. 
But  you  know  it  is  said  of  women  that  we  reason  more  with 
our  hearts  than  our  heads,  and  the  former  organ  is  a  bad  casu- 
ist, and  I  (at  my  best  of  times  not  among  the  wisest  of  women) 
have  of  late  years  fallen  into  the  bad  and  sinful  habit  of  ex- 
pecting evil.  It  was  not  my  early  nature  to  do  so,  but  painful 
experience  has  engrafted  it  on  natural  weakness.  This  I  must 
add,  however,  with  vehement  sincerity,  that  I  would  rather  en- 
dure a  week's  anxiety  than  rob  you  of  an  hour's,  nay  half  an 
hour's  exercise  ;  I  do  not  say  of  five  minutes  ;  time  enough  par 
parenthese  to  say  "  I  am  well,"  and  fold  up  the  missive.  Will 
you  behave  better  for  the  future  ?  I  mean  to  yourself  and  Pro- 
vidence, which  has  so  far,  thank  Grod  for  it,  kept  you  in  health 
and  safety,  spite  of  your  own  endeavours  to  bring  on  some  hor- 
rid seizure,  or  organic  disease  of  the  head  (as  poor  Sir  Walter 
did)  by  over- writing,  over-tension  of  those  precious  faculties  so 
dependent  in  this  our  imperfect  state  on  the  organs  of  sense. 


But  I  am  wasting  my  excellent  logic  all  this  while,  and  I  sup- 
pose you  do  not  pay  more  attention  to  Dr.  Southey's  arguments 
on  the  subject — for  he  must  use  such — than  to  mine.  When  I 
read  of  your  "nine  printed  pages  a-day  "  I  shuddered ;  but  here 
I  hold  your  written  resolution  of  reform,  and  moderation,  and  so 
on  for  the  time  to  come.  Keep  it  better  than  the  Whigs  have 
done  their  pledges  or — I  will  call  you  a  Whig,  and  if  that  does 
not  touch  you  to  the  quick,  nothing  will. 

How  am  I  to  get  Zophiel?  I  have  not  seen  it  anywhere  ad- 
vertised, and  it  is  probably  published  in  America.  But  I  shall 
try  to  get  it.  You  spoke  to  me,  I  think  when  you  were  here, 
of  this  same  Mrs.  Brooks,  and  you  have  since  named  her  in 
your  letters.  It  will  be  a  treat  to  see  something  really  "imagi- 
native and  original  and  passionate,"  without  being  absurd  or 
affected,  blasphemous  or  disgusting.  I  begin  to  detest  Annuals 
as  well  as  albums.  Such  a  flood  of  very  pretty  poetry  have 
they  let  in  upon  us.  Seldom  do  I  now  venture  upon  a  page 
wherein  I  see  the  lines  arranged  in  the  suspicious  form  of  metre. 
I  am  sick  to  death  of  the  sweet  Swans  my  sisters  (all  save  one 
or  two),  and  think  to  myself  "I  would  rather  be  a  kitten,  and 
cry  mew  than  one  of  those  same  ballad  metre-mongers";  and 
yet — moi  aussi,fai  vdcu  en  Arcadie  !  Think  of  my  Monster  very 
seriously  requesting  he  might  be  permitted  to  affix  my  name  at 
full  length  to  whatever  I  sent  him  in  future  because — the  Hon. 
Mrs.  N.  and  Lady  E.  S.  W.,  &c.,  &c.,  put  theirs  !  Whereupon 
I  made  answer  that  if  ever  I  saw  my  poor  innocent  name  gibbet- 
ted  in  his  Helicon  bag  of  fashion,  it  would  be  the  last  auto- 
graph of  mine  found  its  way  to  Princes  Street. 

Yes,  dear  friend,  but  for  memory  and  hope  this  would  be  a 
poor  life  truly.  If  you  please,  you  shall  introduce  me  to  Sir 
Philip  Sidney  and  his  sister,  "Pembroke's  mother":  as  for 
Queen  Elizabeth,  to  confess  the  truth,  I  should  be  as  little  am- 
bitious of  her  acquaintance  and  patronage  in  another  world 
(where  the  climate  of  her  court  may  be  too  warm  for  comfort), 
as  I  should  have  been  of  a  place  in  her  household  here.  I  would 
rather  request  of  old  Ascham  to  present  me  to  his  sweet,  serious 
pupil  Jane  Gray. 


The  23rd  of  this  month  will  complete  the  year  long  before 
the  close  of  which  I  thought  to  be  an  exile  from  this  my  home. 
Here,  by  God's  blessing,  I  am  still,  and  grateful,  very  grateful, 
for  the  temporary  reprieve  ;  but  I  cannot  but  consider  the  far 
more  serious  cause  of  anxiety*  which  has  since  been  awarded  me, 
as  in  some  sort  a  punishment,  and  a  just  one,  for  the  unwilling- 
ness with  which  I  resigned  myself  to  the  sacrifice  then  required 
of  me.  Therefore,  I  do  my  best  to  be  more  cheerful  now  as 
well  as  equally  submissive. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 


I  was  greatly  concerned  at  reading  in  yesterday's  paper  that 
Mr.  Wordsworth's  sight  is  considered  in  danger.  Tell  me,  if 
possible,  the  report  is  an  exaggerated  one. 



KESWICK,  November  3rd,  1833. 

I  was  fearful  that  the  account  of  your  amendment  came  in 
too  remote  and  roundabout  a  way,  willing  as  I  was,  and  am,  to 
believe  what  I  hope.  But  I  cannot  bear  to  hear  you  accuse 
yourself  of  impatience — you  of  all  persons  whom  I  have  ever 
known  are  least  to  be  accused  on  that  score.  The  feelings  to 
which  you  allude  can  no  more  be  imputed  as  a  sin,  than  the 
sense  of  bodily  suffering  can  be,  because  they  belong  essentially 
to  our  nature.  Our  Saviour  himself  prayed  that  the  cup  might 
pass  away,  and  that  prayer  itself  may  have  been  partly  intended 
for  our  consolation ;  may  have  been  designed  to  convince  us 
that  what  we  call  repining  (repining  such  as  yours!)  that  a 
natural,  but  subdued,  weakness,  that  a  resignation  which  though 
reluctant  is  resignation  still,  will  not  be  deemed  sinful.  We 
never  think  so  unworthily  of  our  heavenly  Father  as  when  we 
limit  His  mercy  or  doubt  of  his  indulgence. 

*  Anxiety  caused  by  ill  health. 


Do  not  be  apprehensive  that  I  shall  ever  over-task  myself. 
It  was  but  for  three  or  four  days  that  I  sate  so  closely  at  my 
work,  and  even  on  those  days  I  never  omitted  my  daily  exer- 
cise ;  nor  should  I  have  been  run  so  hard  had  it  not  been  for 
some  previous  idleness,  most  part  of  which  was  employed  in 
walking ;  and  had  not  the  publication  been  periodical,  and  so 
fixed  to  a  day.  I  am  in  no  danger  of  being  over-wrought, 
though  it  is  very  likely  that  in  a  frame  so  highly  sensitive  as  I 
know  mine  to  be,  the  seat  of  sensation  is  the  part  which  is 
most  liable  to  give  way.  My  occupations  are  too  various  for 
them  ever  to  be  injurious.  The  injury  is  where  one  subject 
takes  possession  either  of  head  or  heart:  in  the  first  case  it 
strains  and  injures  the  faculties,  in  the  latter  it  eats  up  the 
affections.  Poor  Scott  employed  himself  always  in  one  strain 
of  invention,  and  that  of  a  nature  to  excite  him.  But  I  have 
no  doubt  his  embarrassments  affected  him  much  more  than  all 
his  literary  exertions. 

I  have  agreed  with  Moxon,  and  in  the  way  that  you  think 
best.  Nothing  will  be  published  till  I  am  ready  to  bring  out 
the  Lives  each  in  its  place ;  and  the  Introduction  (which  will 
cost  most  pains)  first.  The  publication,  therefore,  cannot  begin 
till  this  time  twelvemonths  at  the  soonest ;  probably  not  till  the 
January  after.  Meantime,  he  will  get  forward  with  the  por- 
traits and  vignette  views  of  churches  and  parsonages ;  and  by 
that  time  I  shall  be  ready  with  the  Introduction,  and  five  or  six 
lives.  I  begin  immediately  to  look  over  my  old  stores,  and 
select  from  them  such  notes  as  may  be  brought  into  use  for  this 
service;  they  are  neither  few  in  number  nor  unimportant  in 
substance,  and  you  may  suppose  what  a  satisfaction  it  is  when 
materials  patiently  collected  from  time  to  time  through  a  long 
course  of  years  are  turned  to  good  account  at  last. 

The  account  of  Wordsworth's  eyes  was  true ;  they  have  been 
saved  for  the  present.  But  for  many  years  he  has  been  subject 
to  frequent  and  severe  inflammation  of  the  lids,  and  when  this 
extends  to  the  eye  the  sight  is  seriously  endangered  ;  and  there 
is  always  danger  of  new  attacks,  where  an  inflammatory  habit 
has  once  been  formed.  Any  emotion  immediately  affects  the 



diseased  part ;  the  excitement  of  conversation  is  sufficient  for 
the  evil :  and  by  composing  two  sonnets  during  the  last  attack 
he  had  nearly  brought  on  a  relapse.  This  I  hear  from  Hamil- 
ton (the  author  of  "Men  and  Manners"),  who  breakfasted  with 
me  this  morning  (Monday). 

Zophiel  is  printed  in  London,  and  you  have  only  to  write  for 
it  as  you  do  for  other  books.  You  have  received,  I  trust,  ere  this 
my  second  volume,  of  which  the  main  merit  is  that  I  have  done 
in  it  what  nobody  before  ever  thought  worth  doing — brought 
together  the  whole  of  our  early  naval  history,  and  taken  in  no 
more  of  other  transactions  than  were  necessary  for  forming  a 
connected  and  readable  narrative.  The  time  might  have  been 
better  employed ;  and  yet  it  was  not  a  wearisome  task. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend.  I  shall  look  anxiously  to  hear 
from  you. 




KESWICK,  November  23rd,  1833. 

At  present  I  am  very  busy  in  reviewing.  The  Corn  Law— 
Rhymes  supply  the  text,  and  a  very  good  one  it  is  for  reading 
my  old  correspondent  Ebenezer  Elliott  a  wholesome  lecture  upon 
the  ferocious  radicalism  to  which  he  has  given  vent.  This  I 
shall  do  in  a  way  which  he  will  not  expect,  and  which  very 
possibly  may  have  some  effect  upon  him.  I  shall  also,  if  possible, 
get  a  life  of  Samuel  Hick  the  Methodist  blacksmith  ready  for 
the  same  number.  It  must  go  hereafter  with  my  lives  of 
Oberlin  and  Neff,  neither  as  comparison  or  contrast  exactly,  but 
as  relating  to  the  same  subject.  The  said  Sammy,  whom  his 
biographer  has  canonized  as  far  as  his  power  and  authority 
extend,  was  born  without  the  sense  of  shame ;  certainly  the 
most  impudent  man  one  has  ever  heard  of,  who  was  not  at  the 


same  time  a  thorough  rogue  or  thorough  villain.  Sammy,  in 
spite  of  his  impudence,  was  a  worthy  man  at  heart,  and  in  spite 
of  his  ignorance  and  his  fanaticism  was,  I  dare  say,  very  useful 
in  his  sphere.  The  book  would  amuse  you  and  provoke  you  at 
the  same  time.  If  you  are  disposed  to  send  for  it  upon  this 
character,  its  title  is  The  Village  Blacksmith;  or.  Memoir  of  8. 
Hick,  by  James  Everett. 

Henry  Taylor  arrived  yesterday.  The  first  thing  which 
struck  him  was  your  picture,  in  which  he  remarked  a  likeness 
to  me  in  the  forehead  and  eyes,  such  as  might  have  been  re- 
marked had  we  been  brother  and  sister.  He  very  much  ad- 
mired the  picture,  and  I  assure  you  Mufti's  languishing  look 
was  not  lost  upon  him. 

I  knew  you  would  like  my  project  with  Moxon,  and  have 
good  hope  that  if  I  live  to  execute  it,  and  you  to  see  the  execu- 
tion, you  will  be  pleased  with  it.  The  Introduction  will  cost 
me  much  time  in  research,  and  I  shall  want  more  books  for  it 
than  I  know  where  to  find  or  to  look  for ;  but  by  good  fortune 
there  are  some  in  my  possession  which  it  would  not  be  easy  to 
meet  with  elsewhere,  and  which  will  supply  me  with  much 
curious  matter.  I  have  received  one  dissuasive  letter,  founded 
upon  a  doubt  whether  I  am  sufficiently  versed  in  theology  or  have 
read  enough  in  this  line  to  undertake  such  a  task,  and  also  upon 
a  fear  that  I  may  draw  upon  myself  acrimonious  censure  if  I 
should  be  found  wanting  in  these  points.  But  if  the  old  friend* 
who  writes  thus  had  seen  what  my  reading  has  been  and  con- 
tinually is,  or  had  he  indeed  called  to  mind  the  indication  which 
some  of  my  writings  bear  of  it,  he  would  not  have  entertained 
any  such  apprehensions.  The  more  I  contemplate  the  under- 
taking the  better  I  like  it,  and  feel  more  and  more  hopeful  that 
in  pursuing  it  I  may  be  doing  good  both  to  myself  and  others. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend,  and  restore  and  support  you. 
Bless  you  I  know  He  will. 


*  This  was  Charles  Wynn— he  mentioned  the  subject  to  me.     (Note  by 

TJ  2 



BUCKLAND,  December,  1833. 

Your  letters,  dear  friend,  do  me  more  good  than  all  my 
physicians,  my  other  physicians,  prescribe  for  me ;  they  talk  of 
hope,  but  your  letters  breathe  hope,  hope  and  encouragement 
even  as  to  the  things  of  this  world,  so  connected  with  higher 
hopes  and  more  blessed  assurances,  that  while  the  effect  of 
such  mental  communion  with  you  lasts  I  am  almost  all  I 
ought  to  be — not  cast  down  by  temporal  suffering,  and  rest- 
ing in  perfect  peace  on  the  promises  that  cannot  fail.  But 
the  bow-string  will  flag,  as  you  well  can  understand,  though 
the  bow  is  not  broken.  Nothing  seems  to  diminish  my  strength 
as  to  the  power  of  walking,  &c.  This  stubborn  little  frame 
of  mine  takes  a  great  deal  of  pulling  to  pieces  after  all, 
like  some  scrubby  skeleton  of  a  tree  or  crazy  old  cottage  that 
weathers  out  many  a  blast  when  one  would  think  the  first  would 
lay  it  low.  Perhaps  we  shall  publish  our  book  some  day — what 
do  you  say  to  that  ? — if  I  outlive  all  your  task- work.  Never, 
never  one  line  of  verse  from  you  now ;  I  am  obliged  to  go  back 
perpetually  to  the  sixteen  volumes  you  have  given  me,  to  keep 
alive  the  assurance  that  you  are  a  Poet. 

I  am  charmed  with  Mr.  Taylor's  favourable  opinion  of  my 
picture,  because  I  now  feel  better  satisfied  than  I  did,  that  the 
indifferent  drawing  is  not  a  disfiguring  blot  on  your  walls.  I 
should  like  to  believe  there  was  the  same  likeness  between  the 
original  and  yourself  that  has  struck  him  in  the  picture,  and  it 
is  singular  enough  that  two  persons,  John  Kingston  and  (I 
think)  Lady  Malet  made  a  similar  observation  to  me  once  re- 
specting the  upper  part  of  our  two  faces. 

All  the  Whigs  of  my  acquaintance  and  half  the  Tories 
high  in  praise  of  Bulwer's  late  publication,  England  and  the 
English.  He  is  shrewd  and  clever,  and  speaks  civilly  of  you, 
and  writes  some  truths — biting  ones  ;  but  for  all  that  I  should 
call  his  book  a  flashy,  trashy  work,  full  of  fallacies,  and  on  the 
whole  insidious  and  mischievous. 


We  are  approaching  a  new  year,  dear  friend.  May  it  bring 
with  it  blessings  to  you  and  yours — blessings  in  God's  own  way, 
of  His  good  choosing  !  Neither  you  nor  I,  were  the  choice  left 
to  us,  would  dare  make  it  for  ourselves.  Farewell  for  this 
year.  It  will  be  three  years  this  Christmas  since  we  last  saw 
each  other  face  to  face,  but  I  take  delight  in  the  assurance  that 
our  friendship  is  not  of  that  nature  which  depends  on,  or  even 
needs,  the  refreshing  of  personal  intercourse ;  the  enjoyment  of 
it,  however,  would  be  such  happiness  that,  to  say  the  truth,  I 
am  most  resigned  to  the  deprivation  when  not  permitting  my- 
self to  dwell  upon  it. 

Once  more  farewell,  dear  friend,  and  Grod  bless  you. 



BUCKLAND,  February  Uth,  1834. 

Have  I  then  really  and  truly  a  fair  hope  of  seeing  you  here 
again,  and  before  this  year  hastens  to  a  close  ?  For  a  long 
season  all  anticipation  of  earthly  events  has  been  to  me  so 
joyless,  to  say  the  least,  that  a  gleam  of  sunshine  dazzles  me, 
and  I  cannot  look  steadily  forward ;  but  it  shines  through  the 
closed  lids ;  and  I  am  glad,"  though  I  dare  not  be  sanguine,  for 
alas !  it  is  now  possible  I  might  have  to  say  "  Do  not  come." 
I  should  do  so  for  your  sake,  if  I  was  suffering  so  much  as  I 
have  suffered,  for  you  read  my  silence  right.  I  should  have 
been  eager  to  tell  you  I  was  better,  and  I  can  now  gratefully 
say  that  I  am  so. 

At  last  I  obtained  Zophiel.  Do  you  ask  me  how  I  like  it  ? 
I  will  tell  you  how  I  read  it.  The  box  of  books  was  dropped 
by  the  evening  coach,  just  as  I  was  seating  myself  to  write 
letters  of  some  consequence;  but  I  looked  over  the  books, 
caught  up  2tQphiel,  and  opened  the  volume  just  to  glance  over 


it,  or  at  it  rather,  before  I  began  my  letter.  Neither  letter,  nor 
business,  nor  time,  nor  any  sublunary  thing  did  I  think  of 
again  that  evening,  till  startled  by  the  cramp  from  the  uneasy 
posture  in  which  I  had  begun  reading,  and  puzzled  by  the  half- 
darkness  in  which  I  was  left  by  the  red  globular  flame  of  the 
unsnuffed  candles ;  and  no  letters  were  written  that  evening. 
Is  not  that  evidence  of  the  strongest  of — what  ? — of  my  liking 
the  poem  ?  No  ;  but  of  the  extraordinary  powers  evinced  in  it, 
of  its  originality,  of  its  exuberant  fancy,  its  richness  of  diction, 
unperspicuous  as  it  is.  What  a  sensation  such  a  poem  as  this 
would  have  made  some  twenty  years  ago,  and  now  nobody  has 
heard  of  it ;  no  notice  is  taken  of  it.  And  this  surprises  me 
even  in  this  cold,  calculating  age;  because,  though  poetry  no-- 
longer  touches  hearts,  passion  excites  the  organs  that  are  called 
hearts  by  courtesy,  and  Byron  and  Moore  have  their  full  share 
of  worshippers,  neither  of  whom,  I  should  say,  have  written 
anything  so  impassioned  as  Zophiel,  or,  I  could  almost  add, 
more  licentious.  My  dear  friend,  you  told  me  of  the  lady  when 
you  were  last  here,  and  wrote  of  her  and  her  poems  from  Kes- 
wick  afterwards,  and  you  then  said  it  was  to  be  left  in  your 
hands  for  publication,  and  you  might  be  placed  in  a  situation 
of  "  delicate  embarrassment,"  by  having  to  hint  to  the  authoress 
the  necessity  of  "  cooling  it  in  some  parts."  Now,  if  you  have 
effected  this  refrigerating  process,  for  Heaven's  sake  at  what 
degree  of  temperature  did  it  stand  previously  ?  How  could  a 
woman,  and  such  a  one  as  you  describe,  select  such  a  subject 
(for  her  work  is  a  paraphrase  of  the  Book  of  Tobit),  and  how 
could  she  treat  it  as  she  has  done  with  such  unwomanly  license  ? 
You  say  I  should  like  the  poem — her  poem — the  better  if  I  had 
seen  her.  If  I  knew  and  loved  her  I  should  be  grieved  she  had 
written  it,  splendid  as  it  is.  You  do  not  think  me  prudish  I 
am  sure ;  but  what  woman,  pure-minded  as  woman  should 
could  read  that  poem  aloud  with  an  unembarrassed  voice  ? 
And  can  it  become  a  woman  to  write  anything  that  may  not  be 
brought  fearlessly  to  this  test  ? 

(rod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 





Your  opinion  of  Zophiel  is  what  I  expected,  and  it  accords 
altogether  with  my  own.     But  the  licentiousness  is  in  the  sub-  * 
ject,  and  is,  as  it  were,  so  rarefied  and  sublimed  (not  to  say  spiri- 
tualised) by  the  imaginative  manner  in  which  the  whole  story 
is  treated,  that  it  is  quite  harmless.     I  have  seen  as  little  of  ^ 
Don  Juan  as  you  have  done.     Byron  and  Moore  and  such  men 
address  themselves  directly  to  the  vicious  part  of  human  nature. 
This  is  never  done  in  Zophiel. 

Yet  I  dare  say  the  poem  had  its  origin  in  the  circumstances 
of  the  authoress's  life.  So  much  was  she  possessed  with  this 
poem  while  composing  it,  that  she  is  as  well  persuaded  of  the 
truth  of  the  machinery  as  a  Roman  Catholic  is  when  he  intro- 
duces saints  and  devils  into  an  epic  poem. 

March  9th. — I  have  been  too  closely  employed  to  go  on  with 
this  since  the  day  that  your  letter,  to  which  it  replies,  arrived. 
Meantime  I  have  been  round  the  world  with  Sir  Francis  Drake, 
and  have  put  the  last  hand  on  the  proofs  to  a  wofully  long  and 
laborious  paper  upon  the  Corn  Laws.  It  has  cost  me  more 
time  than  I  like  to  bestow  upon  such  subjects,  but  not  more 
than  it  will  have  been  worth,  if,  as  Lockhart  expects,  it  should 
produce  some  effect.  As  for  the  Admirals,  I  am  so  much  out  of 
my  element  at  sea,  that  I  should  wish  them  at  the  bottom  of  it, 
if  I  were  not  better  paid  for  attending  upon  them  than  for  any- 
thing else. 

You  may  imagine  how  I  shall  miss  Cuthbert.  The  course 
of  life,  indeed,  is  tending  to  make  me  more  wholly  intent  upon 
my  own  pursuits  than  in  any  former  part  of  my  life.  I  shall 
have  no  companion  in  my  walks  when  he  is  gone,  and  this  will 
be  a  great  loss,  as  it  will  withhold  me  from  extending  them  to 
any  distance  such  as  ten  or  twelve  miles.  But  you  must  know 
that  our  establishment  (if  you  have  not  already  been  informed 
of  so  great  an  event)  has  been  increased  by  a  present  from 


Sir  Thomas  Ackland  of  an  Exmoor  pony,  Pixey  by  name. 
The  said  Pixey  has  hitherto  been  intended  only  for  riding,  and 
has  accordingly  been  provided  with  two  saddles,  male  and 
female,  and  last  summer  Cuthbert  was  in  his  glory,  when  thus 
mounted,  on  a  pony  which  he  could  look  upon  as  his  own. 
Next  week  Pixey  is  to  come  home,  having  been  turned  out  all 
the  winter  ;  he  is  then  to  be  tried  in  harness,  and  if  we  can  get 
him  to  draw  (which,  as  he  is  quite  young,  there  seems  no  cause 
to  doubt),  then  a  little  open  carriage  is  to  be  procured,  and 
Bertha  undertakes  to  drive  it.  In  this  way  I  hope  to  get  the 
girls,  and  sometimes  their  mother,  out  for  a  morning's  length, 
and  to  accompany  them  as  an  old  squire,  on  foot,  condescending 
sometimes  to  take  a  seat. 

A  bookseller's  parcel  is  on  the  way  to  me,  containing  naval 
stores.  But  it  contains  also  a  packet  of  letters  from  Mr.  New- 
ton, Cowper's  friend,  to  Mr.  Thornton,  of  which  you  shall  hear 
more  when  I  have  seen  their  contents.  Henry  Taylor  has  pro- 
cured them  for  me,  through  Stephen  (Wilberforce's  nephew), 
one  of  the  best  men  living,  in  the  best  sense  of  the  words. 
Through  that  same  channel  I  have  been  made  acquainted  with 
something  regarding  Cowper  much  more  remarkable  than  any- 
thing that  is  publicly  known  concerning  him,  or  indeed  than 
could  possibly  be  imagined.  One  reason  why  I  can  only  raise 
your  curiosity  without  putting  you  at  once  in  possession  of  the 
truth  is,  that  I  know  not  yet  whether  it  can  be  told.  All  I  can 
say  is,  that  it  renders  him  far  more  an  object  of  extraordinary 
compassion  than  he  already  appears  to  be. 

I  shall  begin  upon  his  life  as  soon  as  the  third  volume  of 
the  Admirals  is  off  my  hands,  which  I  trust  it  will  be  in  the 
course  of  five  weeks. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  It  is  time  for  my  walk,  and  I 
shall  be  disappointed  if  my  parcel  does  not  arrive  before  my 






BFCKLAND,  March  21th,  1834. 

From  the  27th  of  January  to  the  16th  of  March  and  not  a 
word  from  Keswick !  and  my  mind  full  of  uneasy  conjectures, 
and  still  I  held  back  the  hand  which  was  every  morning 
stretched  out  (when  the  post  brought  no  letter)  to  invade  your 
peace.  But  for  that  noble  exercise  of  patience  and  self-restraint 
you  are  no  ways  indebted  to  me,  dear  friend,  but  to  one  far  my 
superior  in  sense  and  patience,  though  my  junior  by  many 
years — my  good  and  dear  cousin  Laura  Burrard,  who,  with  her 
equally  dear  sister  Frances,  has  been  staying  some  weeks  with 
me.  "  No  letter  again  !  I  will  write  to-day,"  said  I  many  a 
morning  of  disappointed  expectation ;  "  I  am  sure  something  is 
the  matter."  "  No,  no,"  would  Laura  reply,  answering  my 
self-addressed  determination,  "  No,  no  !  wait  till  to-morrow ; 
think  how  much  Mr.  Southey  has  to  do  and  you  will  regret 
having  written,  if  you  find  his  silence  was  occasioned  by  press 
of  business."  So  I  was  tractable  at  least,  and  waited,  and  found, 
as  I  had  often  done  before,  that  my  gentle  Laura's  judgment 
was  better  than  that  of  her  old  cousin.  This  evil  habit  of  im- 
patience has  come  upon  me  of  late  years;  in  some  sort  it  is 
perhaps  more  deserving  of  compassion  than  reproof,  for  bitter 
experience  of  the  insecurity  of  all  earthly  good  has  impressed 
me  with  a  perpetual  dread  of  impending  evil ;  a  most  pitiable 
infirmity,  too  surely  proving  the  "little  faith"  which  cannot  cast 
out  fear. 

I  have  been  both  pleased  and  pained  lately  at  receiving  a 
book  and  a  letter  from  a  person  whom  I  believed  to  have  dropt 
(and  judiciously)  all  epistolary  communications  with  me — Mary 
Howitt,  the  only  one  of  all  the  literary  persons  of  that  class 
who  have  honoured  me  with  their  notice,  to  whom  I  ever 
replied  willingly,  with  a  feeling  of  frank  kindliness  and  confi- 
dence. There  was  a  simplicity  and  kindness  in  her  style  that 


thawed  all  the  ice  of  my  ungraciousness  in  a  moment,  and  I 
really  "took  to  her,"  as  we  say  in  Hampshire,  and  in  a  less 
degree  to  him  also,  for  he  too  was  my  correspondent,  and  felt  I 
should  be  glad  to  become  personally  acquainted  with  them. 
You  gave  the  first  shock  to  my  confidence  in  the  man  by  re- 
lating to  me  his  insulting  speech  to  Miss  Wordsworth  about 
clergymen,  and  when  I  read  in  some  periodical  extracts  from  his 
atrocious  book,  The  History  of  Priestcraft,  I  shrank  with  horror 
at  the  thought  of  being  the  correspondent  of  the  writer  or  his 
wife.  That  was,  however,  a  first  impulse  and  an  unjust  feeling ;  she 
was  not  in  fairness  to  be  considered  responsible  for  her  husband's 
violence,  however  she  might  partake  of  his  opinions.  But,  all 
things  considered,  I  thought  and  wished  that  she  might  not 
write  to  me  again,  and  though  I  often  thought  of  her,  and  re- 
gretted the  loss  of  her  correspondence,  I  was  content  that  it 
should  be  so,  and  the  more  so  when  I  saw  her  book  announced, 
"  The  Seven  Temptations  of  Man,"  and  read  a  severe  censure 
of  the  poem  and  its  principles.  But  one  day  arrived  the  very 
book,  with  a  letter  from  the  authoress :  such  a  charming,  gentle, 
almost  deprecating  letter,  giving  me  fully  to  understand  that 
she  was  aware  of  what  my  sentiments  towards  her  husband 
must  be — towards  them  both  perhaps ;  for  which  reason  she  had 
long  forborne  writing.  She  spoke  of  expecting  the  Wordsworths 
to  stay  with  them  on  their  way  to  London,  and  expressed  her 
hope  and  belief  that  I  as  well  as  the  Wordsworths  might  still 
meet  her  and  her  husband  on  that  neutral  ground  free  only  to 
subjects  unconnected  with  politics  and  party  spirit.  I  could  not 
turn  coldly  from  advances  made  in  so  kind  a  spirit,  but  I  re- 
plied in  a  manner  that  will  not  please  him  I  suspect,  for  I  should 
have  accounted  it  heresy  not  to  avow  the  horror  I  had  conceived 
of  his  principles,  religious  and  political.  He  threatened  me  with 
a  visit  too  this  year;  the  more  reason  why  I  should  let  him 
know  my  whole  mind.  But  as  for  her  book,  it  has  been  cruelly, 
unjustly  censured.  I  do  not  like  the  plan ;  I  do  not  like  the 
style  of  writing  (for  a  woman)  requisite  to  illustrate  it,  nor  do 
I  approve  of  inserting  in  a  work  of  this  nature  verses  verbatim 
from  the  New  Testament;  but  with  these  exceptions  I  do 


delight  in  great  part  of  the  poem  or  poems.  I  am  curious  to 
know  what  you  think  of  it.  The  first,  "  The  Poor  Scholar,"  is 
charming,  though  many  will  call  it  an  imitation  of  Goethe. 

You  have  set  my  curiosity  all  on  tenter-hooks  about  Cowper, 
but  it  is  a  painful  curiosity.  I  cannot  bear  to  think  of  him 
otherwise  than  as  an  object  of  respect  and  love  joined  to  the 
tenderest  pity.  You  never  told  me  you  were  about  to  write 
his  life,  the  very  work  I  should  have  wished  to  be  undertaken 
by  you. 

I  too  have  had  a  pony  sent  me,  by  Mr.  Levett,  but  the  kind 
giver  was  deceived  in  him.  I  hope  Pixie  is  more  tractable 
than  Oberon,  my  coal-black  steed,  who,  for  mischief,  is  a  very 
fiend  of  a  fay.  The  Levetts  will  be  at  Worthing  this  sum- 
mer, and  then  I  hope  to  become  acquainted  with  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Warter. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




[KESWICK,  April,  1834.] 

Your  good  cousins  were  very  kind  in  accounting  for  my  sin 
of  omission,  for  none  but  they  who  are  in  the  house  with  me, 
and  see  how  every  hour  brings  its  business  with  it,  and  how 
many  a  one  its  interruption  also,  can  tell  how  little  time 
remains  "at  my  own  free  and  willing  disposal.  Often,  very 
often,  am  I  doing  what  poor  Elmsley  used  to  call  "something 
else,"  something  which  is  not  exactly  the  thing  on  which  I 
ought  just  then  to  be  employed,  but  for  which,  for  some  reason 
or  other,  I  am  better  inclined  ;  but  from  six  in  the  morning  till 
eleven  at  night  there  is  no  interval  of  disoccupation,  except  it  be 
when  I  am  walking,  or  enjoying  that  sleep  after  dinner  which 
is  the  soundest  and  most  refreshing  of  my  slumbers. 


I  thought  I  had  told  you  of  Baldwin  and  Cradock's  proposal 
that  I  should  edit  a  complete  edition  of  Cowper  in  monthly 
volumes,  and  write  his  Life ;  and  that  I  had  consented  for  the 
love  of  Cowper.  Some  of  Mr.  Newton's  correspondence  with 
Mr.  Thornton  is  in  my  hands  at  present,  and  I  am  to  have  the 
rest.  In  these  letters  the  mystery  is  revealed,  and  my  mind  is 
made  up,  after  consulting  with  Wordsworth,  that  if  it  ever  be 
made  public,  it  shall  not  be  by  me.  It  had  better  be  discovered 
hereafter  by  some  hunter  after  extraordinary  facts,  than  em- 
bodied in  the  Life  of  so  truly  amiable  and  interesting  a  poet;  for" 
if  it  were  there  it  would  mingle  distressingly  with  all  one's 
thoughts  and  feelings  concerning  him.  Moreover,  positive  as 
the  testimony  is,  there  is  against  it  so  strong  an  improbability, 
that  I  know  not  which  is  the  weightier.  At  this  moment,  while 
writing  thus  mysteriously,  it  occurs  to  me  that  the  most  pro- 
bable solution  is  to  suppose  it  a  mere  conception  of  madness, 
not  the  real  and  primary  cause  of  his  insanity,  but  a  hypo- 
chondriacal  and  imaginary  effect  of  it. 

Mary  Howitt  sent  me  her  Temptations  through  Dora  "Words- 
worth, with  a  message  requesting  me  to  divest  myself  of  all  pre- 
judices, religious  or  political,  in  reading  the  book,  and  to  give 
it  a  good  word  if  I  could ;  evidently  implying  a  wish  that  I 
would  review  it.  I  cannot  review  it,  and  have  not  found  time 
as  yet  to  read  it;  inclination,  in  truth,  having  been  wanting 
when  I  had  so  little  time  for  reading  books  which  are  to  instruct 
me.  She  complains  to  Dora  of  having  lost  one  friend  in  con- 
sequence of  political  feelings.  It  will  be  long  indeed  before  the 
animosities  which  have  now  been  so  fiercely  rekindled  will  subside. 
I  am  glad  that  she  has  written  to  you.  As  for  her  husband,  he 
is  in  the  very  gall  of  bitterness,  and  the  savour  will  abide  upon 
him  as  long  as  he  lives. 

All  that  I  wrote  upon  Ebenezer  Elliott,  as  an  introduction 
to  the  Corn  Law  paper,  has  been  cut  off  for  the  sake  of  short- 
ening it.  Whether  it  will  be  printed  as  a  separate  paper  I  know 
not ;  if  it  be,  I  must  put  a  conclusion  to  it  after  extending  it 
some  little. 

April  8th. — Yesterday  being  a  beautiful  day,  I  went  up 


Cawsey  Pike,  being  my  first  mountain  walk  this  year.  Davies 
went  with  me  and  heartily  enjoyed  the  ascent.  Cuthbert  was  of 
the  party,  but  rode  to  the  foot  of  the  hill  for  Pixey's  sake.  We 
have  ordered  a  pony-carriage ;  it  is  to  be  a  light  two- wheeled 
affair  of  the  plainest  kind,  to  carry  two  persons ;  Bertha  can 
drive.  This  will  draw  them  in  fine  weather,  whether  they  like 
it  or  not,  to  exercise  the  pony,  and  I  count  upon  it  as  one  means 
of  improving  my  wife's  health,  and,  therewith,  her  spirits. 

The  conclusion  of  the  Corn  Law  paper,  that  is,  all  that 
purports  to  have  been  written  after  the  debate  in  the  House 
of  Commons,  is  not  mine  :  you  would  probably  discover 
this,  for  it  bears  marks  of  a  parliamentary  tactician,  and  in- 
deed I  suppose  it  to  be  Croker's,  wholly  or  in  part,  for  he  has 
often  a  hand  there  when  the  paper  comes  from  another  person. 
Lord  Mahon  was  so  ill  pleased  with  the  temper  of  some  inter- 
polations introduced  into  a  paper  of  his  that,  to  justify  himself, 
he  printed  the  paper  as  he  had  written  it. 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 




BTJCKLAND,  May  '3rd,  1834 — 

And  as  lovely  a  May  day  as  ever  Poet  sung — the  earth 
teeming  with  beauty  and  f ruitf ulness ;  the  air  balmy  and 
fragrant  with  the  breath  of  honeysuckles — at  least  about  my 
windows,  where  they  are  in  luxuriant  blossom ;  two  nightingales 
trying  to  outsing  each  other  in  the  garden  beside  the  house ; 
the  cuckoo's  voice  uttering  its  first  call  (that  I  have  heard  this 
year) ;  the  pigeons  feeding  round  me  as  I  sit  at  the  open  win- 
dow ;  not  a  cloud  in  the  sky,  but  a  few  small  fleeces  that  look 
like  wafted  blossoms  from  below. 


On  the  subject  of  Sunday  schools,  and  indeed  national 
schools,  to  the  extent  they  have  been  carried  of  late  years,  I 
have  always  felt  persuaded,  though  with  misgivings  of  my  own 
judgment,  that  they  were  bad  substitutes  for  home  teaching,  for 
parental  instruction;  and  that  the  technical  familiarity  with 
Scripture  (if  I  so  express  myself)  acquired  by  poor  children 
in  the  routine  of  school  teaching  ill  supplies  the  place  of  that 
homely  instruction  which  infuses  practical  piety  rather  than 
abstract  ideas,  and  strengthens  the  holy  ties  of  natural  affection 
while  inculcating  our  blessed  faith  in  that  simple  form  which  is 
its  glory,  knowledge  sufficient  to  salvation.  But  thinking  thus 
as  I  do,  and  have  always  done,  I  see  that  the  day  is  gone  past 
when  every  poor  cottage  might  have  been,  as  was  once  the  case 
in  Scotland,  a  temple,  where  the  "  priest-like  father  read  the 
sacred  page"  to  the  assembled  family.  Throughout  all  classes 
of  the  lower  orders  there  is  a  frightful  change  in  the  domestic 
relations,  not  only  in  manufacturing  but  in  agricultural  districts ; 
it  manifests  itself  to  me  in  almost  every  cottage  I  enter  by  tokens 
that  make  the  heart  sick  :  little  ones,  lisping  infants,  to  be  "  got 
out  of  the  way "  (of  the  mother's  way !)  to  Infant  and  other 
schools — and  then  the  mother  goes  out  charing,  and  the  hus- 
band gets  his  meal  at  the  beershop.  The  children  get  prizes 
for  quick  answers  and  clever  distinctions  between  Melchizedek 
and  Methusalem,  while  neither  girl  nor  boy  learns  a  single  house- 
hold duty — least  of  all  the  first  and  greatest,  filial  affection  and 
respect ;  and  the  moment  the  young  brood  can  fly,  they  do  so, 
without  a  lingering  look  of  love,  or  the  old  birds  beat  them  off 
if  they  are  slow  at  taking  wing.  What  is  to  be  the  end  of  all 
this  ?  This  moral  deterioration  of  the  lower  orders  is  the  terrific 
feature  of  the  times  ;  and  lo  !  the  Trades  Unions — the  march  of 
mind,  the  diffusion  of  knowledge  (such  knowledge)  is  power- 
fully illustrated  there. 

Your  decision  about  the  mystery  connected  with  Cowper  is 
just  what  I  supposed  it  would  be,  if  the  circumstances  made 
known  to  you  were  such  as  could  not  be  made  public  without 
casting  a  shadow  over  the  beautiful  and  lovable  character  of 
that  "stricken  deer,"  for  such  he  surely  was ;  and  if  there  is 


anything  criminating  in  the  fact  you  are  possessed  of,  I  should 
feel  as  sure  almost  as  of  Cowper's  existence,  that  it  is  to  be  laid 
to  the  score  of  insanity.  One  thing  you  may  tell  me  :  is  New- 
ton the  relator  of  that  fact  ?  If  he  is,  what  dependence  can  be 
placed  on  the  authority  of  the  author  of  such  autobiography  as 
his,  full  of  insane  and  disgusting  fanaticism  ? 

Pray  tell  me,  when  you  have  read  it,  how  you  like  Mary 
Hewitt's  book.  I  hope  you  will  like  much  of  it.  I  fear  I  may 
be  the  friend  the  loss  of  whom  she  spoke  of  to  Miss  Wordsworth. 
I  could  not  disguise  or  soften  my  opinion  of  her  husband's  say- 
ings and  doings  when  I  replied  to  her  letter — her  charming 
deprecating  letter.  My  heart  smote  me  a  little  for  the  savage 
return  I  made  to  it ;  but  my  great  reason  for  speaking  very 
plain  was,  that  she  spoke  of  her  husband's  intention  to  visit 
me  in  the  autumn.  Shall  I  ask  him  to  meet  you  ? 

I  ride  my  pony  in  spite  of  his  tricks.  He,  King  Oberon, 
sends  greeting  to  Pixie,  one  of  his  vassals  of  a  certie.  I  wish 
the  king  was  as  well-behaved. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  May  21  st,  1834. 

Summer  is  now  bringing  with  it  its  train  of  interruptions. 
Bertha  and  Kate  look  to  them  with  pleasure,  and  I  expect  them 
with  my  wonted  patience,  but  their  mother  is  in  so  miserable  a 
state  of  spirits,  that  whether  she  sees  some  of  the  persons  who 
may  come,  or  keeps  away  from  them  all,  I  know  not  how  to 
advise,  because  I  know  not  which  would  have  the  most  injurious 
effect.  I  am  almost  hopeless  of  any  relief  from  medicines,  be- 
cause the  hope  which  should  assist  in  producing  it  is  wanting. 


However,  Dr.  Kidd  of  Oxford,  my  old  schoolfellow,  is  coming 
early  in  July ;  and  perhaps  she  may  be  induced  to  place  some 
faith  in  him. 

I  shall  probably  take  Kate  into  Sussex.  Edith  very  much 
wishes  to  have  her,  being  very  much  alone.  My  daughters 
have  little  chance  of  ever  finding  another  home  so  cheerful  as 
their  father's  has  been.  If  one  could  choose  one's  lot,  it  would  be 
to  have  the  morning  cloudy  and  the  evening  fine,  that  is,  sup- 
posing we  were  sure  of  the  whole  day. 

May  28th,  1834. — Mr.  Swain  is  with  me  for  a  week — a 
Manchester  poet  who  has  made  his  way  into  daylight  chiefly  by 
the  kind  notice  of  James  White,  and  the  means  of  the  Literary 
Gazette.  You  would  like  his  poems,  and  you  would  like  him. 
After  many  difficulties  and  misfortunes  his  prospects  are  now 
fair,  and  he  wants  nothing  to  render  him  as  happy  as  he  de- 
serves to  be,  except,  alas  !  a  stronger  constitution.  But  that  re- 
ceived a  shock  some  few  years  ago,  and  his  countenance  (a  very 
fine  one)  has  a  dark  and  unhealthy  hue,  which  shows  that  there 
is  something  amiss  within.  Just  now,  however,  he  is  in  a  state 
of  great  enjoyment.  Cats'  Eden  is  a  Paradise  to  him,  which  well 
it  may  be  to  one  who  lives  at  Manchester  and  never  was  at  the 
Lakes  before,  nor  ever  before  set  foot  upon  a  mountain.  We  soon 
made  him  feel  that  there  was  no  one  to  be  afraid  of  here ;  and 
his  visit  will  not  only  furnish  him  with  a  stock  of  recollections 
on  which  he  will  love  to  dwell,  but  will  be  of  some  use  to  him 
in  his  own  circle,  by  showing  that  he  is  thought  something 
of  beyond  it. 

Yesterday  I  went  up  Skiddaw  with  him  and  Davies,  to  the 
great  delight  of  both.  But  Swain  would  hardly  have  accom- 
plished the  ascent  if  I  had  not  administered  three  table  spoon- 
fuls of  whiskey  and  water,  as  often  as  required.  He  is  a  very 
temperate  man,  and  therefore  felt  the  whole  benefit  of  such  a 
medicine,  and  to-day  he  is  all  the  better,  as  well  as  the  happier, 
for  having  performed  so  great  a  feat.  It  was  a  charming  day, 
with  air  enough  and  not  too  much,  and  nothing  could  be  more 
delightful  than  to  be  on  the  summit.  I  was  not  in  the  slighest 
degree  fatigued  :  you  may  conclude  therefore  that  I  am  in  good 


condition  at  present ;  though  the  summer  here  for  the  last  week 
or  ten  days  threatened  me  with  symptoms  of  my  old  catarrh. 

Swain  made  very  particular  inquiries  concerning  my  "  dear 
friend,  and  sister  poetess,"  for  whose  writings  he  has  a  true 

Alas,  I,  too,  am  against  the  grain  moving  in  political  affairs ! 
I  have  two  petitions  about  the  Universities,  and  the  Dissenters  on 
the  circuit  for  subscriptions,  and  my  assistance  has  just  been 
asked  for  a  third  respecting  the  Poor  Bill.  Moreover,  I  suspect 
that  a  fourth  is  brooding  against  the  beer-shops,  in  which  also 
I  shall  be  expected  to  become  act  and  part.  So  you  see  that  if 
the  business  of  the  nation  should  not  go  on  as  it  ought  to  do,  it 
will  be  no  fault  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  town  of  Keswick  and 
parish  of  Crosthwaite ! 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 



BFCKLAND,  July  23rcZ,  1834. 

Since  I  wrote  to  you  I  have  made  a  voyage  !  a  sea  voyage  ! 
Not  quite  to  either  India,  nor  even  across  the  Channel,  but  still 
a  sea  voyage  in  our  Solent,  to  visit  my  cousin  Tom  Eoche  on 
board  his  ship  the  Victory,  now  Sir  Thomas  Williams's  flag- 
ship at  Portsmouth.  I  spent  three  hours  on  board,  part  of  them 
you  may  be  sure  full  of  thoughtful  interest,  having  your  book 
all  the  while  in  my  head  and  heart ;  most  of  all  when  I  stood 
on  that  little  spot,  now  distinguished  by  a  brass  plate,  where 
Nelson  fell,  and  afterwards  in  the  small  cabin  partitioned  off 
from  the  cockpit,  where  he  breathed  his  last. 

I  have  been  holding  silent  converse  lately  with  another 
friend  of  yours,  that  unhappy  man  Sir  Egerton  Brydges. 
Poesy  never  had  a  warmer,  a  more  earnest  and  sincere  votary ; 



and  if  I  may  judge  from  some  of  the  sonnets  in  his  Autobio- 
graphy,  he  deserves  to  be  classed  in  no  mean  rank  of  poets. 
What  an  indefatigable  spirit !  What  varied  powers  and  aims, 
and  all  how  comparatively  misapplied  and  ill-directed,  or  at 
least  frittered  away  under  the  influences  of  an  unhappy  temper, 
and  an  ill-regulated  mind,  wanting  the  control  and  stay  of  re- 
ligious principle.  But  considerate  gentleness  and  kindness, 
such  as  he  has  met  with  from  you,  might  have  done  much  with 
the  irritable  and  galled  spirit ;  and  I  can  well  suppose  how  little 
sympathy  and  allowance  he  met  with  from  the  family  and 
neighbours,  to  whom  truly  his  pride  and  eccentricities  must  have 
made  him  anythng  but  an  agreeable  companion  and  acquaint- 
ance. Very  beautifully  he  sometimes  writes.  Some  parts  of 
his  Imaginative  Biography  put  me  in  mind  of  Landor. 

The  Howitts  will  not  take  affront  from  me.  She  has  sent 
me  another  charming  little  book  she  has  just  published  for 
children,  and  he  writes  me  a  letter  such  as  one  can  hardly 
fancy  from  the  pen  of  the  fierce  Nottingham  Demagogue. 
Shall  I  invite  friend  William  to  meet  you  here  ?  He  is  galled, 
I  see,  at  having  his  "  offences,"  as  he  expresses  it,  "  visited  on 
his  innocent  wife." 

I  have  been  lately  in  company  with  Charlotte  Smith's  sister 
"  The  Peacock  at  Home,"  commonly  called  Mrs.  Dorset.  Re- 
taining all  her  faculties — and  shrewd  ones  they  are — with  the 
exception  of  hearing  in  full  perfection  at  the  age  of  eighty- 
four.  She  draws  very  beautifully ;  and  her  enthusiasm  for  the 
art  is  so  unabated,  that  while  staying  in  this  neighbourhood 
with  her  niece  Charlotte  Smith  she  got  a  young  friend  of  mine 
to  give  her  some  lessons  in  a  new  style  of  body-colour,  and 
actually  hurried  off  home  (so  her  niece  told  me),  that  she  might 
set  to  and  practise  her  new  acquirement  without  let  or  hin- 
drance. She  spoke  with  great  admiration  of  some  Poems  of 
Hartley  Coleridge  published  last  year.  What  do  you  say  of 

I  have  made  up  all  my  differences  with  Oberon  ;  and  if  not 
so  perfect  as  Pixie,  he  will  serve  my  turn  as  well  I  hope  as 
Pixie  does  yours.  My  other  pony,  on  which  the  servant  used 


to  follow  to  take  care  of  me,  fell  sick ;  so  being  thrown  on  my 
own  valour  and  made  desperate,  I  got  the  better  of  my  re- 
fractory steed  and  my  own  fears,  and  now  ride  all  over  the 
country,  "  sans  peur  et  sans  reproche "  I  hope,  though  such 
lady  errantry  rather  outsteps  the  bounds  of  decorum ;  for 
these  matters  I  choose  to  class  myself  with  the  privileged 
«  better  sort." 

I  like  your  project  for  next  summer,  for  your  own  sake  and 
Mr.  Taylor's.  I  do  not  quite  like  Lockhart's  review  of  Philip 
Van  Artevelde.  A  rare  game  of  puss  in  the  corner  the  Cabinet 
have  been  playing !  Lord  Althorpe  has,  as  the  French  say, 
"  covered  himself  with  glory."  Beckford's  book  greatly  offends 
me  in  all  that  relates  to  Holland  and  Germany,  often  offends 
me  even  in  Italy,  but  for  the  most  part  delights  me  in  Portugal 
and  Spain.  The  vile,  sneering,  morbid  tone  that  more  or  less 
pervades  the  first  volume  is  detestable  to  me. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  August  20th,  1834. 

I  returned  yesterday  from  Lowther,  whither  I  was  invited 
to  meet  Kogers,  now  (in  all  human  probability)  on  his  last  visit 
to  this  country.  It  may,  almost  as  probably,  be  my  last  visit 
to  that  castle.  Lord  Lonsdale  is  seventy-six  years  of  age; 
healthy  and  active  as  he  is,  his  life  hangs  as  by  a  thread ;  the 
first  influenza  that  affects  him  may  be  expected  to  prove  fatal, 
and  after  his  death  Lowther  is  not  likely  to  be  what  it  now  is. 
His  heir  is  not  fond  of  the  place,  and  it  is  supposed  that  he  will 
live  there  as  little  as  he  can. 

The  Dowager  Duchess  of  Richmond  was  there — a  person 
who  will  be  remembered  in  history  for  the  ball  that  she  gave 

X  2 


at  Brussels,  from  whence  so«nany  officers  set  out  for  the  field  in 
which  they  fell. 

I  walked  home,  starting  at  half-past  six.  The  distance  by 
the  shortest  line,  which  I  succeeded  in  finding  by  paths  some  of 
which  are  seldom  trodden,  is  nineteen  miles;  and  when  you 
hear  that  I  was  not  fatigued,  you  will  conclude  that  I  am  in 
good  bodily  health. 

The  time  of  our  departure  for  the  south  cannot  be  fixed  till 
we  know  whether  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Rickman  come  here  to  join 
their  daughters  and  take  them  home.  With  all  my  dislike  to 
moving,  when  it  is  once  determined  that  the  move  must  be 
made,  I  wish  to  be  as  soon  as  possible  in  motion,  especially 
when  so  long  a  journey  lies  before  me  that  it  must  carry  me  far 
into  the  winter.  Most  likely  I  shall  take  Kate  with  me  as  far  as 
London,  and  send  her  from  thence  by  the  Worthing  coach  to 
her  sisters.  This  seems  to  be  settled,  as  far  as  I  can  see,  but 
her  mother  is  in  miserable  health  and  more  miserable  spirits ; 
the  disease  in  fact  being  there  ;  and  this  evil  is  sure  to  be 
aggravated  by  parting  with  three  at  once,  and  two  of  them  for 
a  long  time.  Cuthbert's  indeed  will  be  a  serious  departure : 
this  home  will  never  again  be  his  home  except  during  vacation. 
At  his  age  these  things  are  not  seen  and  understood  and  felt 
as  they  are  at  mine,  and  well  it  is  that  they  are  not — that  the 
business  and  evils  of  life  open  upon  us  gradually. 

You  ask  if  I  should  like  to  see  William  Howitt.  There  is 
one  reason  why  I  should  not,  and  that  is  that  very  possibly  I 
may  have  occasion  to  answer  his  attack  upon  the  Church ;  and 
as  in  that  case  I  should  most  certainly  deal  with  him  as  he 
deserves  upon  that  score,  it  is  much  better  that  there  should  be 
no  personal  acquaintance  between  us.  His  wife,  I  am  very 
sure,  I  should  like ;  and  very  probably  there  is  much  in  him 
that  is  to  be  liked  also ;  but  it  is  as  an  author  that  he  is  likely 
to  come  in  my  way,  and  only  as  an  author  do  I  wish  to  know 
him.  There  will  then  be  nothing  to  withhold  me  from  ex- 
pressing myself  fully  and  severely. 

Henry  Taylor's  play  has  been  remarkably  successful.  Eogers 
tells  me  they  are  reprinting  it  in  America,  and  translating  it 


(which  was  to  be  expected)  at  Brussels,  but  into  French  in- 
stead of  Dutch.  If  Bilderdijk  and  his  wife  had  been  living 
he  would,  I  think,  have  not  wanted  a  competent  Dutch  trans- 
lator. They  knew  him  and  liked  him. 

I  have  not  seen  Beckford's  book,  but  should  expect  it  to  be 
as  you  describe  it.  No  talents  can  compensate  for  that  want  of 
moral  feeling  which  is  likely  to  appear  in  anything  he  may 
write.  His  house  near  Cintra  was  only  not  the  most  beautiful 
place  I  ever  saw,  because  there  was  one  within  two  or  three 
miles  which  was  in  some  respects  better.  His  was  called  Mon- 
serrat,  because  of  the  supposed  resemblance  between  the  moun- 
tains of  Cintra  and  the  Catalan  mountain.  The  finer  situation 
you  may  have  heard  your  uncle  speak  of  by  the  name  of  Penha 
Verde,  the  seat  of  the  old  Portuguese  hero  Don  Joam  de  Castro. 
If  I  could  make  any  spot  in  the  world  my  own  by  a  wish,  it 
would  be  that,  provided  Portugal  by  the  same  wish  could  be 
made  as  peaceful  as  it  was  four-and-thirty  years  ago. 

You  have  received,  I  hope,  my  third  volume — of  which  all  I 
have  to  say  is,  that  the  first  Life  in  it  would  more  properly  have 
appeared  in  the  fourth.  How  it  came  to  be  thus  misplaced  is 
not  worth  explaining.  As  soon  as  that  was  finished,  I  wrote  a 
paper  upon  Dr.  Watts — prefatory  to  a  volume  of  his  poems  in 
the  "Sacred  Classics."  In  this  I  have  done  what  his  other 
biographers  have  left  undone — looked  into  his  opinions.  And  if 
I  had  had  about  as  much  space  again  allowed  me,  and  if,  more- 
over, it  had  not  been  necessary  to  abstain  from  any  remarks  which 
would  have  offended  the  dissenters,  I  could  have  made  a  much 
better  and  more  useful  essay.  Now  I  go  to  the  Life  of  Cowper 
as  my  chief  occupation,  creeping  on  at  intervals  with  the  Ad- 
mirals. When  I  shall  write  anything  for  the  Quarterly  Review 
— or,  if  ever  again — is  altogether  doubtful ;  meantime  I  have 
enough  to  do. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




BUCKLAND,  September  16th,  1834. 

Already  the  periodical  press  is  teeming  with  sayings  and 
doings  and  letters  of  poor  Coleridge ;  and  I  saw  a  sort  of  adver- 
tisement purporting  "  that  the  afflicted  widow  of  a  lately 
deceased  poet  earnestly  requested  all  persons  having  letters  or 
papers  of  his  to  place  them  in  her  hands,"  &c.  This  appeared 
within  a  fortnight  of  Coleridge's  death.  Was  the  nameless 
advertiser  his  widow? 

I  wish,  as  you  yourself  desire  it,  that  you  may  be  at  liberty 
to  set  off  this  month  on  your  southern  pilgrimage ;  but  even 
more  heartily  do  I  wish  you  could  commence  it  under  more 
cheerful  auspices  than  are  to  be  expected  from  what  you  tell  me 
of  Mrs.  Southey's  dejection  of  mind.  Your  last  account  disap- 
pointed me,  a  former  letter  having  made  cheerful  report  of  her 
amendment.  It  is  a  heavy  infliction  to  the  poor  sufferer,  and 
those  who  witness  a  misery  they  cannot  alleviate.  "  Grod  help 
you"  is  all  I  can  say  on  such  a  subject. 

I  anticipate  your  promised  visit  with  less  of  gladness  than 
on  any  former  occasion,  because  I  am  sensible  that  more  than 
one  cause  will  sadden  you  on  leaving  home ;  but  then,  as  you 
draw  near  Edith,  your  heart  must  be  gladdened,  and  I  dwell 
on  that  thought  with  more  than  pleasure. 

I  am  in  sorrowful,  really  sorrowful,  expectation  of  hearing 
very  shortly  of  poor  Blackwood's  death.  My  poor  Monster! 
Always  a  kind  Monster  to  me  he  has  been,  and  must  have  had 
(though  how  acquired  I  can  hardly  tell)  some  regard  for  me ; 
for  I  received  last  week  a  very  affecting  letter  from  his  son, 
informing  me  of  his  father's  almost  hopeless  state,  after  having 
languished  on  a  bed  of  sickness  and  pain  since  March  last,  in 
the  course  of  which  melancholy  interval  he  had  often  spoken  of 
me ;  and  the  poor  son  added  from  himself  that  a  letter  from  me 
would,  he  knew,  afford  great  gratification  to  his  father.  You 


may  guess  how  promptly  I  wrote,  and  with  what  feelings  ;  but 
never,  I  think,  a  letter  that  cost  me  such  thought  and  pain  in 
the  framing,  for  I  was  cautioned  not  to  let  him  suspect  his 
son's  communication  to  me,  for  fear  of  awakening  him  to  a 
sense  of  his  imminent  danger,  which,  his  surgeons  said,  was  to 
be  carefully  avoided. 

My  Monster  was  worth  ten  of  yours,  autocrat  of  fashion  as 
he  has  been  in  his  line.  What  trashy  mischief  the  press  now 
teems  with  !  and  to  what  depths  of  degeneracy  will  that  public 
taste  decline  which  admits  and  admires  Bulwer,  and  such  as 
13ulwer,  as  dictators  in  taste,  literature,  politics,  and  morals? 

Lord  Brougham  should  espouse  Miss  Martineau  a  la  main 
gauche,  though  Lord  Althorp,  and  the  Bishop  of  London,  and 
other  champions  and  enactors  of  the  Poor  Law  Bill  might 
dispute  the  honour  of  her  hand  with  him. 

I  am  writing  under  the  stupefying  influence  of  a  blinding 
cold — an  excellent  excuse  for  a  stupid  letter. 

Gtod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



BUCKLAKD,  Sunday  Evening,  October  29£/t,  1834. 

I  am  so  glad  to  hear  you  do  not  part  with  Cuthbert  this 
winter,  for  all  your  sakes,  and  he  will  be  no  loser  by  the  delay. 
He  will  learn  his  first  great  lesson  in  human  sorrow  and  human 
sympathy  in  the  sanctuary  of  his  home,  where  it  will  sink  into 
his  young  heart  with  no  rude  or  unsalutary  pressure,  where  he 
will  have  the  example  of  your  faith  and  patience  before  him — a 
living  lesson,  better  worth  than  Divines  could  teach,  and  the 
best  stimulus  to  industry  and  exertion  in  the  desire  of  proving 
his  filial  affection  at  a  time  when  that  of  your  children  must  be 


your  chief  earthly  comfort.     Thank  God!  precious  as  is  that 
stay,  it  is  not  your  only,  or  your  chief,  support. 

Nothing  can  be  more  striking  than  the  passage  you  tran- 
scribe, written  on  the  very  brink  of  your  appointed  trial.* 
Dear  friend,  God  sees  fit  to  prove  you,  even  more  sharply  than 
the  keenest  and  closest  self-scrutiny  could  have  effected;  but 
He  will  bring  you  out  of  this  ordeal  also,  as  He  did  before, 
when  your  lovely  and  beloved  were  taken  from  you.  Often 
have  I  so  questioned  with  my  own  heart  as  to  the  nature  of  its 
resignation,  and  of  late  years  I  have  humbly  ventured  to  rest 
upon  a  very  simple  conclusion,  that  however  imperfect  my  sub- 
mission may  and  must  be,  it  is  still  such  resignation  as  will  be 
accepted  for  Christ's  sake,  because  I  feel,  and  am  sure,  not  only 
that  God  chasteneth  me  in  mercy,  but  that  I  love  Him  the 
better  for  His  fatherly  correction.  You  know  I  am  unskilled 
in  any  but  the  heart's  logic,  and  that  is  often  fallible.  I  hope 
not  in  my  case  in  this  matter.  How  much  I  should  like  to  see 
your  letter  to  Mrs.  Hughes  ;  but  as  you  had  forgotten  it,  I  fear 
you  have  no  copy. 

I  had  something  to  tell  you,  in  reserve  for  our  meeting  too ; 
that  I  had  heard  lately  of  a  very  interesting  miniature  picture 
of  Cowper,  done  when  he  was  a  child,  about  the  age  he  de- 
scribes in  his  affecting  poem  to  his  mother's  picture.  I  had 
asked  for  and  obtained  the  address  of  the  person  (in  Ireland) 
who  possesses  this  picture,  thinking  it  might  be  desirable  to 
procure  an  engraving  from  it  for  your  projected  Life.  There  is 
also  a  letter  of  Newton's  to  Hannah  More  (in  Eoberts's  lately 
published  work)  that  might  be  worth  referring  to.  He  pressed 
too  hard,  in  his  injudicious  zeal,  on  poor  Cowper's  sick  and 
tender  spirit. 

God  bless  you,  comfort  you,  keep  you  now  and  ever,  dear 


*  A  passage  on  resignation  in  "The  Doctor,"  written  just  before  the 
true  state  of  Mrs.  Southey's  mind  declared  itself. 




KESWICK,  November  2nd,  1834. 

Last  night  was  the  first  good  night's  rest  which  I  have  had 
for  many  weeks ;  I  did  not  awake  till  the  clock  struck  seven ; 
and  to-day  my  nervous  feeling  has  given  way  to  a  drowsy  one, 
as  if  nature  were  taking  its  own  course  for  bringing  me  into  my 
usual  state  of  health. 

Thank  you  for  your  intimation  concerning  Cowper's  portrait. 
I  shall  be  very  glad  if  it  can  be  obtained.  "  Hannah  More's  Life" 
I  will  look  for  in  due  time.  Newton  unquestionably  did  some 
injury  to  Cowper  by  over- working  him  in  religious  exercises. 
All  his  (Newton's)  letters  to  Mr.  Thornton  are  now  in  my  pos- 
session; the  far  greater  part  of  their  contents  is  perfectly 
worthless — that  sort  of  religious  writing  which  disgusts  one  as 
much  with  the  profession  of  piety  as  a  water-gruel  diet  would 
disgust  one  with  food.  Yet  Newton  was  a  man  of  extraordinary 
powers  of  mind,  of  ardent  feeling,  and  perfect  sincerity  and 
great  strength  of  heart.  Thornton,  who  was  his  benefactor, 
required  such  letters  from  him  once  a  fortnight,  and  poor  New- 
ton seems  to  have  sat  down  to  them  as  a  schoolboy  to  his 
theme,  or  a  sorry  spin-text  to  his  sermon  at  the  latter  end  of  the 
week.  They  cease  upon  his  removal  from  Olney  to  London. 
Though  they  do  not  contain  much  about  Cowper  in  proportion 
to  their  number,  yet  they  tell  me  more  than  I  could  have 
gathered  from  any  printed  documents,  or  think  it  right  to  make 

Have  you  seen  "  Bishop  Jebb's  Correspondence  with  Alex- 
ander Knox "  ?  If  you  have  not,  send  for  it  in  your  next 
parcel  from  the  circulating  library.  I  am  sorry  that  I  never 
saw  Mr.  Knox.  He  was  little  heard  of  out  of  his  own  circle ; 
but  in  that  circle  he  exercised  a  great  influence  which  has  been 
widely  felt,  in  one  instance  (the  Catholic  question)  for  evil,  in 
others  for  good,  and  the  good  effect  is  likely  to  continue  and  to 


extend.      His  other  correspondence  will  be  published  by  Mr. 
Hornby,  the  Rector  of  Winwick. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.  I  boasted  too  soon  yesterday  of 
returning  rest,  and  must  try  to-day  what  a  longer  walk  will  do 
for  me  by  producing  bodily  weariness. — Nov.  3. 




BUCKLAND,  November  18th,  1834. 

Among  my  store  of  gossip  for  you  when  you  came  to  me  was 
a  confession  little  creditable  to  me,  that  I  had  a  very  discredit- 
able visitor — that  meek  man,  William  Howitt ;  yes,  and  liked 
him  too  !  could  not  help  it  for  my  life,  though  I  made  it  a  point 
to  keep  all  his  sins  on  the  first  leaf  of  my  remembrance,  and  to 
let  him  know  that  I  did.  He  was  touring  through  the  New 
Forest,  picking  up  materials  for  another  "  Book  of  the  Seasons," 
or  something  of  that  sort.  Well  for  him  and  his  poor  wife  if 
he  had  kept  to  such  blameless  lucubrations.  He  was  going 
from  hence  coast-wise  into  Cornwall,  ten  to  one  with  some 
more  mischievous  purpose  in  view  than  his  ostensible  one ;  for 
the  men  of  the  extreme  west  are  just  the  sort  of  people,  and  in 
that  fermenting  state,  that  would  work  well  in  his  hands.  And 
yet  that  man,  as  he  showed  himself  to  me,  seems  made  up  of 
all  good  and  kindly  elements,  with  -a  degree  of  plain-speaking 
frankness  that  pleased  me,  as  he  took  special  care  not  to  call  the 
clergy  "knaves  and  fools"  to  me. 

Well,  the  vermin  have  been  smokedjout  with  a  vengeance  ! 
Can  you  guess  of  whom  the  new  Cabinet  will  be  composed  ? 
Can  you  even  venture  to  wish  among  those  who  are  most  likely 
to  be  leaders  ?  Whoever  is  in,  the  Pulchinello  Chancellor  will 
tumble  in  among  them  by  some  hocus-pocus  manoeuvre.  How 


rarely  he  and  Lord  Durham  have  been  performing  Punch  and 
Judy  for  the  edification  of  the  nation ! 

The  miniature  of  Cowper  in  childhood  is  in  the  possession  of 
James  Cochrane,  Esq.,  Sligo,  Ireland.  Mr.  Cochrane  is  one  of  the 
principal  merchants  of  Sligo.  His  picture  was  a  copy  (the  only 
one)  from  the  original,  of  which  he  gave  a  history  to  my  friend 
Captain  Felix,  but  the  latter  had  forgotten  it,  and  all  I  could 
extract  from  him  was  the  address  as  above,  and  his  assurance 
(which  I  could  depend  on)  that  the  picture  was  most  interesting. 

May  dod  be  "about  your  bed  and  about  your  path,"  and 
keep  you  in  all  your  ways,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  December  7M,  1834. 

I  wish  you  could  have  given  a  more  favourable  account  of 
your  own  bodily  afflictions.  Your  state  of  mind  could  not  be 
better,  and  in  this  you  set  me  an  example.  Yet  a  few  years 
and  we  shall  look  back  upon  these  trials  as  we  now  do  upon 
the  troubles  of  our  childhood ;  but  there  is  this  difference  be- 
tween them,  that  it  must  be  our  own  fault  if  we  are  not  the 
better  for  the  discipline  which  we  now  undergo. 

So  you  were  pleased  with  the  revolutionary  Quaker.  I 
should  like  to  know  how  far  he  is  really  a  Quaker.  If  he  is 
one  to  the  full  extent  of  Quakerism,  he  believes  in  as  gross  a 
delusion  as  ever  was  inculcated  under  any  system  of  priestcraft. 
And  if  he  stops  short  of  that  full  belief,  I  should  then  like  to 
know  how  far  he  is  from  infidelity,  to  which  the  liberalism  of 
the  Quakers  closely  approximates.  In  either  predicament  he 
may  nevertheless  have  many  estimable  and  amiable  qualities; 
and  if  he  has  a  kind  heart  and  a  feeling  one,  time  is  likely 
enough  to  teach  him  more  wisdom,  and,  at  least,  to  keep  him 
from  going  farther  wrong,  even  though  it  should  not  bring  him 


into  the  right  way.  I  dare  say  that  if  he  and  I  were  acci- 
dentally to  meet,  we  should  part  in  good  will,  each  wondering 
that  the  other  could  be  so  grievously  mistaken  upon  opinions  of 
the  greatest  moment. 

Time  was  when  a  political  crisis  like  the  present  would  have 
excited  in  me  the  liveliest  interest.  It  is  no  good  symptom  as 
relating  to  myself  that  I  now  think  of  it  only  while  the  news- 
paper is  in  my  hand  ;  this,  however,  is  not  entirely  because  I  am 
absorbed  in  my  own  concerns,  but  in  great  degree  because,  not 
knowing  what  to  wish  in  the  perplexed  state  of  public  affairs,  I 
content  myself  with  the  quiet  belief  that  whatever  instruments 
may  be  employed,  the  designs  of  Providence  will  be  brought 

Dear  friend,  (rod  bless  you. 



BTJCKLAKD,  December  21st,  1834. 

I  have  to  thank  you  for  recommending  to  me  a  book  that 
has  (the  greater  part  of  it)  deeply  interested  me — "  Jebb's  Cor- 
respondence with  Knox."  In  consequence  of  my  own  ignorance 
and  incapacity,  probably,  I  do  not  clearly  comprehend  what 
were  the  peculiar  religious  views  of  those  two  good  men ;  for  that 
they  were  peculiar  Knox  especially  gives  us  often  to  understand. 

In  reading  Roberts's  four  thick,  heavy  volumes  of  Hannah 
More's  Life  and  Correspondence  (an  ill  got-up  work),  I  was  not 
a  little  surprised  never  to  find  your  name  on  a  single  page,  I 
think  not  once ;  and  yet  her  dear  friend  Wilberforce  knew  and 
loved  you  well.  But  I  suppose  you  were  not  sufficiently  ortho- 
dox (query,  heterodox)  to  satisfy  the  "  holy  Hannah,"  whose 
great  abilities,  and  excellent  intentions,  and  wonderful  exertions 
I  admire  and  reverence  heartily ;  but  I  never  should  have  loved 


her.  She  was  born  with  a  birch  rod  in  her  hand,  and  worst  of 
all  was  a  shameless  flatterer  and  insatiable  of  flattery ;  this  I 
know  from  persons  long  and  well  acquainted  with  her,  and  in 
all  other  respects  her  warm  admirers.  Her  acceptance  of  a  pen- 
sion in  compensation  for  a  husband  is  a  vile  blot,  never  to  be 
expunged,  in  her  character ;  and  there  is  something  wholly  in- 
explicable to  me  in  her  living  separate,  as  she  did,  from  her 
widowed  mother,  and  indeed  in  the  apparent  coolness  of  her 
filial  affection.  I  am  talking  to  you  probably  of  a  work  you 
have  not  read  and  may  little  care  to  read,  but  my  gossiping  is 
easily  laid  aside,  at  least,  if  it  is  impertinent. 

I  continued  this  year  to  make  a  festival  of  a  day  that  has 
long  ceased  to  be  one  to  me — of  my  birthday,  the  6th  of  this 
month.  Once  more  I  assembled  my  little  household  at  night  to 
close  the  day  with  me,  as  we  were  wont  till  I  became  afflicted 
with  that  disease  in  my  mouth  two  years  ago.  I  felt  less  desolate 
that  night  when  I  went  to  rest  than  I  had  done  for  many  years 
on  the  same  anniversary,  and  the  fruit  of  feelings  was  the  little 
poem  I  inclose.  That  day  would  be  to  me  a  festival  indeed 
which  should  bring  me  tidings  of  good  hope  and  brightening 
prospects  with  you. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICZ,  December  28th,  1834. 

You  will,  no  doubt,  read  both  Bishop  Jebb's  Life  and 
Alexander  Knox's  Remains,  as  I  shall  do  as  soon  as  they  are 
published.  Their  system  I  take  to  be  no  other  than  the 
genuine  Church  of  England  doctrine,  which,  resting  upon  the 
old  standard  of  Catholicism,  allows  none  of  that  latitude  that 
makes  everyone  his  own  interpreter  of  the  Scriptures.  This  I 


take  to  be  their  corner-stone.  They  held  also  (which  is  also  the 
Church  doctrine)  a  real  presence  in  the  bread  and  wine,  alto- 
gether unconnected  with  transubstantiation,  and  not  attempting 
to  explain  one  of  the  mysteries  of  our  faith.  Knox  published  a 
little  treatise  upon  this,  which  I  have,  and  which  Mr.  Hornby 
will  probably  include  among  his  Remains.  Their  other  opinions 
are  all  referable  to  a  belief  in  the  providential  course  of  history 
and  all  things. 

I  very  much  wish  I  had  seen  Mr.  Knox.  Wordsworth  saw, 
and  was  very  much  interested  with  him.  Accidentally  I  saw  a 
number  of  the  "  Christian  Observer "  the  other  day,  in  which 
this  correspondence  is  attacked  in  the  bitter  spirit  of  what  I  call 
the  Dysangelical  party — a  proper  name,  because  what  they 
preach  would,  if  true,  be  tidings  of  great  woe.  Knox  took  up 
his  notion  of  my  disbelief  of  the  Devil  from  my  speaking  in  the 
"  Life  of  Wesley"  of  the  "  personified  principle  of  evil."  That 
there  are  evil  spirits,  as  well  as  wicked  men,  no  one  who 
believes  in  anything  spiritual  can  reasonably  doubt.  My  specu- 
lations upon  subjects  on  which  we  may  innocently  speculate, 
and  where  nothing  beyond  speculation  is  possible,  you  will  one 
day  see,  and  in  the  most  serious  of  them  I  am  very  sure  that 
you  will  cordially  concur. 

Grod  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 



KESWICK,  February  8th,  1835. 

Mr.  Knox's  own  principle,  that  extremes  are  permitted  be- 
cause they  serve  to  counteract  extremes,  and  thus  ultimately  to 
bring  about  what,  in  the  phrase  of  the  day,  must  be  called  the 
juste  milieu,  is  exemplified  in  himself  whenever  he  approximates 
to  the  Dysangelical  school  (that  name  ought  to  be  fixed  upon. 


them,  for  they  preach  dismal  tidings,  evil  tidings,  the  very 
opposite  to  those  which  were  announced  as  "  glory  to  God  and 
goodwill  towards  men  ").  I  have  not  seen  his  Remains,  because 
in  this  uncertainty  of  my  own  movements  I  have  not  ordered 
any  books  from  London.  Hannah  More's  Life  has  been  lent 
us,  and  I  have  had  some  extracts  made  from  it,  as  notes  for 
the  Life  of  Cowper  and  for  Dr.  Bell's.  The  book  itself  comes 
from  very  incompetent  hands.  Whoever  Mr.  Roberts  may  be, 
he  seems  to  have  had  no  other  qualification  than  that  he  was  a 
"  professor,"  as  persons  of  that  description  call  themselves.  I 
am  uncharitable  enough  to  think  that  the  proper  Hebrew  trans- 
lation of  the  word  would  be  Pharisee.  Never  was  there  a  life 
written  which  told  you  so  little  of  the  history  of  the  individual : 
everything  that  could  have  illustrated  it  is  either  hurried  over 
or  slurred  over.  The  non-appearance  of  my  name  is,  as  you 
observe,  remarkable  enough;  the  more  so,  because  in  1795  I 
dined  with  her  at  Cowslip  Green,  and  called  upon  her  at  Bath 
in  the  winter  of  the  same  year.  And  when  at  Bristol,  in  1830, 
I  left  a  card  at  her  door,  upon  an  assurance  from  some  of  her 
friends  that  it  would  gratify  her  much  to  see  me. 

But  you  may  observe  that  Wordsworth  also  is  never  named, 
nor  any  author  indeed,  Sir  Walter  excepted,  out  of  the  pro- 
fessional pale.  Is  this  because  she  spoke  with  so  little  charity 
of  all  who  were  not  within  the  line,  that  the  Editor  thought  it 
prudent  to  suppress  her  opinions,  or  because  she  spoke  with  so 
much,  that  he  deemed  the  suppression  a  duty,  lest  her  approba- 
tion should  afford  a  sanction  to  anything  that  came  from  that 
great  division  of  the  human  race,  described  by  him,  and  such  as 
him,  under  the  similitude  of  goats  ?  That  my  name  must  often 
have  occurred  in  her  correspondence  no  one  can  doubt. 

I  liked  her  when  I  saw  her  much  better  than  Mrs.  Barbauld, 
or  Miss  Seward,  who,  however,  with  all  her  affectation,  had  a 
very  likeable  warmth  and  sincerity  about  her.  Mrs.  Barbauld" 
was  cold  as  her  creed  :  her  niece,  Miss  Lucy  Aikin,  when  I 
saw  her  (which  was  before  she  commenced  historian  !),  pert  as 
a  pear-monger. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend.     You  shall  hear  of  my  move- 


ments  as  soon  as  I  can  determine  on  them,  and  of  everything 
that  concerns  me.     Once  more  farewell. 



BUCKLAND,  February  28£A,  1835. 

Are  you,  as  the  periodicals  announce,  about  to  edit  the 
correspondence  of  Charles  Lamb,  and  to  write  his  life  ?  They 
are  mangling  that,  and  his  memory  already,  I  see,  according  to 
the  taste  of  the  times.  I  would  as  lief  have  your  "Mister 
Joseph "  by  my  death-bed,  if  I  was  a  great  literary  character, 
as  one  of  those  jackals  of  the  Press,  and  the  Evan — "  Dis- 
evangelicals"  as  you  well  call  them — are  full  as  revolting  in 
their  way.  Witness  the  short-hand  collectors  of  last  dying 
words  that  surrounded  Hannah  More  and  her  poor  sisters  in 
their  last  moments  ;  in  her  case  treasuring  up  and  revealing  all 
that  should  have  been  most  sacredly  veiled,  as  indications  of  a 
decaying  and  weakened  mind.  Her  Editor  has  done  her  me- 
mory more  dishonour  than  the  most  slanderous  of  her  accusers. 
Now  what  say  you  ?  I  hear  much  talk  and  eulogy  of  Hannah 
More's  fine  and  tender  feelings.  I  think  she  was  little  troubled 
with  the  infirmity  of  a  tender  nature.  What !  she  who 
could  make  one  among  the  spectators  in  the  Abbey  when  her 
best  friend  was  laid  in  his  grave  !  who  could  look  into  that  grave, 
before  the  crowd,  and  come  home  and  write  about  it  !  No — 
I  never  could  have  loved  H.  More ;  and  then  she  talks  of  her 
own  sensibility,  and  "  cannot  bear  "  forsooth  "  to  think  of  her 
poor  solitary  widowed  mother."  Why  did  she  leave  her  so  ?  I 
love  and  respect  sister  Patty  better  a  thousand  times.  My  old 
venerable  friend  William  Gilpin  was  very  much  displeased  with 
Hannah  for  her  "  presumption,"  as  he  termed  it,  of  publishing 
the  letters  on  "  The  Education  of  a  young  Princess."  "She  might 


have  left  it  to  the  Bishop  her  preceptor,"  said  the  old  man  ;  but 
Hannah  was  horn  like  Minerva,  ready  armed,  only  with  a  birch 
rod — witness  her  appropriation,  when  a  little  child,  of  the 
coveted  quire  of  writing  paper ;  she  scribbled  it  all  over  with 
letters  of  advice  and  rebuke,  &c. 

I  must  tell  you  an  electioneering  anecdote  told  to  me  by  the 
brother-in-law  of  the  gentleman  (Sir  John  Bae  Reed)  in  the 
course  of  whose  canvass  for  Dover  it  occurred — "  No,"  said  the 
radical  farmer,  the  honour  of  whose  support  Sir  John  was 
soliciting — "  No,  I'll  never  support  no  man  what  votes  against 
animal  Parliaments  and  universal  suffering." 

What  a  miserable  business  we  have  made  of  it  with  the 
Chinese;  but  I  was  delighted  with  their  manifesto.  "What 
right  have  we  Barbarians  to  force  the  trade  ? 

And  now  farewell,  and  God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  May  IQth,  1835. 

We  have  now  been  nearly  six  weeks  at  home,  and  on  the  whole 
the  amendment  has  been  such,  that  though  I  dare  not  hope 
for  complete  recovery,  it  seems  highly  probable  we  may  all 
migrate  together  to  Sussex  in  the  autumn.  This  is  the  only 
wish  which  my  poor  Edith  will  acknowledge,  and  this  she 
certainly  has  at  heart.  She  is  perfectly  contented,  even  when 
least  herself ;  and  this  alone  would  make  me  rejoice  in  having 
brought  her  home ;  I  need  not  say  how  much  better  it  is  for  us 
to  be  with  her  than  to  have  our  thoughts  continually  dwelling 
upon  her  at  a  distance.  Should  our  present  plans  take  effect 
Cuthbert  will  come  to  us  at  the  beginning  of  August,  and  we 


shall  return  with  him  in  the  latter  end  of  September.     In  that 
case  you  will  probably  see  me  before  the  close  of  the  year. 

I  have  not  yet  thanked  you  for  those  lines  of  Cowper's ;  the 
invective  parts  have  not  been  printed,  but  methinks  there  can 
be  no  objection  to  printing  them  now.  Every  day  I  have 
deferred  writing  to  Mrs.  Anne  Bagot,  because  every  day  has 
brought  with  it  more  to  do  than  it  allowed]  time  for  doing. 
I  should  certainly  be  very  glad  to  have  Mr.  Bagot's  collection 
of  letters  entrusted  to  me,  as  I  have  Lady  Hesketh's,  and 
Mr.  Unwin's  (which  are  much  more  numerous  than  what  you 
saw).  These  I  am  going  over  as  an  after-supper  amusement, 
marking  what  has  been  omitted  in  the  printed  copies  (which 
is  often  of  as  much  value  as  the  selected  parts),  and  correcting 
the  faults  which  the  printers  have  introduced,  and  the  editor 
overlooked,  to  the  great  injury  of  Cowper's  own  pure  and  easy^ 
style.  Mrs.  Unwin's  grandson  has  sent  this  collection  to  the 
publisher  for  my  use,  and  with  it  the  manuscript  of  John 
Gilpin  has  come.  One  wonders  that  such  a  curiosity  should  have 
been  thus  hazarded,  when  there  could  be  no  use  in  sending  it. 

Some  letters  to  a  Mr.  Clotworthy  Rowley  have  been  sent 
from  Ireland  ;  they  are  not  many,  but  I  collect  some  interest- 
ing facts  from  them.  One  is  of  earlier  date  than  any  that  has 
been  published,  and  it  shows  how  Cowper  regarded  the  prospect 
of  his  worldly  affairs,  the  year  before  his  malady  broke  out. 

Alexander  Knox  wrote  me  a  very  long  letter  to  show  that 
Wesley  was  at  no  time  actuated  by  ambitious  feelings,  but  that 
whatever  I  had  ascribed  to  such  a  motive  in  his  conduct  was 
nothing  more  than  the  inevitable  effect  of  circumstances,  his 
object  being  always  the  love  of  Grod  and  the  good  of  his  fellow 
creatures.  The  letter  convinced  me  when  I  received  it  that  he  was 
right  and  that  I  had  been  mistaken,  and  I  had  his  permission 
to  print  it  whenever  my  "  Life  of  Wesley  "  should  be  reprinted. 
If  I  ever  reprint  it  (which  I  much  wish  to  do),  I  should  introduce 
it  with  an  epistle  dedicatory  to  Lord  John  Russell,  who,  as  you 
have  probably  seen,  attempted  the  other  day  to  sneak  into 
favour  with  the  Methodists  by  saying  that  when  he  spoke  ill 
of  them  it  was  because  he  had  been  deceived  by  my  misrepre- 


sentations.  He  scruples  at  no  subterfuge  and  no  falsehood  that 
will  serve  his  purpose  for  a  time. 

The  O'Connell  tribe  have  probably  learnt  that  

has  once  been  disordered  in  his  intellect;  how  it 

manifested  itself  I  never  heard,  but  the  father  was  said  to  have 
removed  from  London  in  order  to  withdraw  him  for  a  time  from 
scenes  of  excitement.  Overweening  vanity,  with  nothing  to 
ballast  it,  was  probably  the  cause  that  overset  him.  His  books 
represent  him  very  faithfully ;  they  are  all  (at  least  all  that  I 
have  seen)  clever,  audacious  and  disagreeable.  I  wish  he  was 
more  likeable,  or  more  tolerable,  for  his  father's  sake,  who  is  a 
thoroughly  good-natured  man. 

My  spirits,  thank  God,  are  quite  equal  to  the  demand  upon 
them.  Indeed  now  that  the  shock  is  over  and  that  I  see  the  worst, 
there  is  less  to  try  them  than  there  was  while  the  disease  was 
coming  on,  and  its  nature  was  utterly  unsuspected;  and  this 
was  for  some  years. 

In  the  course  of  next  month  you  shall  have  a  certain  third 
volume* — you  will  find  yourself  mentioned :  and  if  the  spirit 
moves  you  to  write  a  story  which  it  is  there  said  that  you  could 
relate  as  it  ought  to  be  related,  and  that  I  will  not  relate  because 
it  is  too  mournful  a  task,  do  so,  and  it  shall  have  its  place  in 
the  next  volume. 

Dear  friend,  Grod  bless  you. 


*  Of  The  Doctor:  see  Chapter  CY.  "Caroline  Bowles,  whom  no 
authoress  or  author  has  ever  surpassed  in  truth,  and  tenderness,  and 
sanctity  of  feeling,  could  relate  such  a  story  as  it  ought  to  be  related, — if 
stories  which  in  themselves  are  purely  painful  ought  ever  to  be  told." 

Y  2 



BUCKLAND,  June  2nd,  1835. 

"  Aballiboozobanganorribo ! "  what  the  deuce  is  the  meaning 
of  it  ?  Such  was  my  rather  inelegant  ejaculation,  after  cogi- 
tating for  ten  minutes  over  that  awful  word  in  a  certain  chapter 
of  a  certain  book,  my  curiosity  being  of  course  whetted  by  pro- 
hibition. What  a  book  !  what  a  book  !  what  a  delectable  book 
that  is!  How  I  congratulate  myself  upon  having  abstained 
from  reading  it  till  I  had  a  head  again — which  did  not  come  to 
pass  for  more  than  three  weeks  after  you  left  me. 

Why  there  is  the  concentrated  essence  of  a  life's  reading  in 
those  two  volumes,  and  better,  of  a  life's  feeling,  and  best  of  all 
to  me,  I  found  you  in  every  chapter.  I  am  sure  I  should  have 
unriddled  the  riddle  in  the  first  ten  minutes'  reading  had  I  read 
the  book  when  you  so  demurely  recommended  it  to  me.  Write, 
write,  write  on — next  to  talking  with  you  and  reading  your 
letters,  I  shall  enjoy  this  delightful  gossip,  that  makes  one 
laugh  and  cry,  pleased  and  provoked,  and  out  of  all  patience,  all 
in  a  breath.  Mais  tout  en  badinant  slip  in  words  of  wisdom  that 
better  the  heart,  and  fill  the  mind  with  wholesome  and  serious 
thoughtfulness.  So  you  have  worked  me  in,  with  other  odds 
and  ends,  in  the  third  volume.  Be  sure  I  shall  look  for  that 
page  first.  But  how  do  you  answer  it  to  your  conscience  to 
tempt  me  to  do  that  which  you  have  not  the  heart  to  venture 
on  yourself  (mine  is  made  of  flint  you  suppose),  and  somewhere 
in  these  very  volumes  you  condemn  ?  I  cannot  make  out  the 
Bhow  Begum  ?  Is  it  Miss  Hutchinson  ?  I  looked  at  my  own 
black  bag,  and  laughed.  How  Bowles  of  Bremhill  would,  I 
think,  enjoy  The  Doctor. 

I  was  painfully  startled  the  other  day  by  a  newspaper  an- 
nouncement of  the  death  of  Mrs.  Hemans.  She  was  one  of  the 


very  few  female  writers  of  our  time  with  whom  I  had  felt  a 
wish  to  be  acquainted.  Her  beautiful  verses  and  my  poor  ones 
have  often  succeeded  each  other  on  the  same  pages  in  Black- 
wood,  and  I  had  acquired  a  habit  of  looking  there  for  her,  as 
for  some  familiar  intelligence.  I  wish  you  would  read  her  last 
lyric  in  BlackivoocPs  May  number.  Though  I  know  you  did 
not  rate  her  poems  so  highly  as  myself,  I  think  you  must  award 
a  meed  of  cordial  praise  to  these ;  and  dying  as  she  was,  and 
aware  of  her  state,  they  are  affectingly  full  of  deep  and  solemn 

(rod  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  June  22nd,  1835. 

The  great  word  has  no  meaning  whatever,  but  is  of  great 
use,  which  you  will  see  explained  and  exemplified  in  the  fourth 
volume,  and  for  which  use  I  composed  it  myself  seven-  or  eight- 
and-thirty  years  ago.  It  then  became  a  household  word,  but 
all  those  who  used  it  with  me  have  departed,  or  are  now  far  away. 
On  the  day  when  the  book  arrived,  when  I  went  down  to  supper, 
Outhbert  was  so  full  of  that  chapter  that  he  rose  from  his  seat 
before  supper  was  ended  to  show  me  the  long  word,  and  he  read 
the  whole  chapter  to  me  that  I  might  see  what  a  queer  book  it 
was — the  queerest  he  had  ever  seen  !  Twenty  years  before,  that 
very  chapter  had  taken  the  fancy  of  his  brother,  to  whom  I  read 
the  beginning  when  he  came  to  his  lessons  the  morning  after  it 
had  been  written,  and  he  too  entered  fully  into  the  humour  of  it. 
The  book  brings  to  me  as  many  recollections  of  this  kind  as  the 
sight  of  wild  flowers  in  spring,  and  the  singing  of  birds— sights 
and  sounds  that  always  carry  us  back  to  the  past. 


Miss  Barker,  who  then  lived  in  the  next  house,  was  the 
Bhow  Begum  :  that  whole  chapter  is  from  the  life,  and  the 
book  grew  out  of  that  night's  conversation,  exactly  as  is  there 
related.  But  to  go  further  back  with  its  history,  there  is  a  story 
of  Dr.  D.  D.  of  D.  and  his  horse  Nobs,  which  have,  I  believe, 
been  made  into  a  hawker's  book.  Coleridge  used  to  tell  it,  and 
the  humour  lay  in  making  it  as  long-winded  as  possible  ;  it 
suited,  however,  my  long-windedness  better  than  his,  and  I  was 
frequently  called  upon  for  it  by  those  who  enjoyed  it,  and  some- 
fimes  I  volunteered  it  when  Mrs.  Coleridge  protested  against  its 
being  told.  As  you  may  suppose,  it  was  never  told  twice  alike, 
except  as  to  names  and  the  leading  features. 

When  I  began  the  book,  my  view  did  not  extend  beyond 
two  volumes.  In  the  course  of  twenty  years,  however,  enough 
in  quantity  (though  not  in  sequence)  for  three  was  written,  and  a 
superabundance  of  materials  collected  for  more.  Miss  Hutchin- 
son  then  persuaded  me  to  begin  to  print,  Miss  H.  saying  that  if  it 
was  delayed  longer,  few  of  those  who  were  in  the  secret  and  would 
enjoy  it  most  would  be  living  to  enjoy  it.  The  greater  part  of 
it  she  transcribed  for  the  press — this  having  been  her  amuse- 
ment for  many  years  whenever  she  visited  us. 

Of  the  volume,  which  you  will  receive  perhaps  as  soon  as  this 
letter,  nearly  four-fifths  have  been  written  since  the  two  former 
were  published,  and  about  a  fourth  part  while  it  was  in  the 
press.  Enough,  certainly,  for  three  more  is  written,  and  how 
much  there  may  be  to  interweave  in  these,  who  can  tell  ?  The 
bookseller's  report  of  a  prodigious  sale  is  a  bookseller's  useful 
puff.  One  thousand  copies  were  printed,  and  the  Quarterly 
Review  and  the  talk  carried  off  little  more  than  half  that  num- 
ber by  midsummer  last.  If  another  hundred  has  since  dropt 
off  I  should  be  much  surprised  ;  but  the  new  volume  may  put 
the  remaining  copies  in  motion. 

Intending  little  more  at  first  than  to  play  the  fool  in  a  way 
that  might  amuse  the  wise,  and  becoming  "  a  sadder  and  a  wiser 
man"  as  I  proceeded,  I  perceived  that  there  was  no  way  in  which 
I  could  so  conveniently  dispose  of  some  of  my  multifarious  col- 
lections, nor  so  well  send  into  the  world  some  wholesome  but 


unpalatable  truths,  nor  advance  speculations  upon  dark  sub- 
jects, without  giving  offence  or  exciting  animadversion.  With 
something  therefore  of  Tristram  Shandy  in  its  character,  some- 
thing of  Rabelais,  more  of  Montaigne,  and  a  little  of  old  Burton, 
the  predominant  character  is  still  my  own. 

It  was  not  till  the  book  went  to  press  that  I  thought  of  put- 
ting headings  to  the  chapters,  and  finding  mottos  for  each. 

Grod  bless  you. 



BTJCKLAND,  August  25th,  1835. 

I  repented,  for  the  thousandth  time,  of  my  impatience  when 
your  first  letter  of  the  4th  arrived,  almost  immediately  after  my 
persecuting  one  was  despatched ;  and  yet  I  will  make  no  fur- 
ther excuse  than  to  plead  the  infirmity  of  my  nature  and  the 
intensity  of  my  anxious  feelings  for  you  and  yours  under  your 
present  circumstances. 

I  bless  God  that  you  are  supported,  as  you  are  assuredly, 
by  Himself.  What  arm  but  His  could  bear  you  up  under  the 
crushing  weight  you  are  appointed  to  bear  !  But  for  His  sake 
do  not  think  of  sending  from  you  your  dear  filial  comforters. 
You  say  you  sometimes  think  you  should  be  as  well  without 
them ;  I  cannot  believe  it  for  a  moment.  It  would  be  a  tempt- 
ing of  Providence  to  isolate  yourself  so  unnaturally. 

It  did  me  good  to  hear  of  your  eighteen  miles'  walk,  and 
eight  hours'  absence  from  home.  As  Pixie  seems  in  favour,  I 
conclude  he  has  discontinued  his  obstreperous  conduct.  I  wish 
my  griffin  of  a  steed  would  take  example  and  reform,  but  he  is 
bent  on  flinging  me  over  his  head,  and  it  is  a  wonder  he  has 


not  yet  accomplished  the  feat.  But  desperation  has  made  me 
so  valiant  that  I  am  actually  become  a  tolerable  horsewoman, 
for  which  I  take  no  small  credit  to  myself,  seeing  that  I  never 
took  to  the  exercise  until  an  age  when  staid  respectable  persons 
begin  to  leave  it  off.  If  I  live  to  fourscore,  I  may  figure  at 
a  fox  chase.  Of  late,  however,  I  have  had  neither  time,  nor 
health,  nor  spirits  for  riding,  or  any  idle  pursuit.  I  think  it  is 
my  fate  to  be  a  sort  of  solitary  Beguine,  always  in  requisition 
in  some  house  of  sorrow,  sickness,  or  death ;  and  indeed,  lightly 
as  I  speak,  I  feel  that  God  is  very  good  to  me  in  appointing 
me  my  work,  and  always  giving  me  strength  in  time  of  need. 
For  the  last  six  weeks  I  have  been  leading  a  strange  life — 
going  backwards  and  forwards  between  my  own  house,  where 
I  had  guests,  and  that  of  my  relation  Mr.  Roche,  whose  eldest 
son  has  been  tin  a  dying  state,  and  is  still  in  a  most  precarious 
one.  I  have  been  ill,  too,  all  the  time,  but  never  quite  laid  up, 
and  I  think  I  am  now  gaming  a  little  ground.  The  worst  to  me 
is,  that  when  I  am  leading  this  sort  of  restless,  unsettled  life,  I 
cannot  make  the  most  (as  I  see  others  do)  of  the  spare  half  hours, 
or  hours  even,  that  I  may  call  my  own  ;  once  out  of  the  railroad 
of  my  own  silent  solitary  life,  I  am  absolutely  good  for  nothing 
but  mere:  mechanical  exertion — and  no  matter,  if  the  end  be 
but  peace. 

Is  the  comet's  tail  whisking  up  all  moisture  from  our 
sphere?  and  has  it  par  hazard  had  anything  to  do  with  the 
late  glorious  deed  at  the  commemoration  of  the  three  glorious 
days  ?  A  friend  of  mine,  married  to  a  Frenchman,  told  me  the 
other  day  an  anecdote  delightfully  characteristic  of  French  sen- 
sibility. You  read,  no  doubt,  the  account  of  the  funeral  cere- 
monies of  the  fourteen  victims  of  the  infernal  machine  ;  but  it 
is  not  generally  known  that  there  ought  to  have  been  fifteen  to 
complete  the  coup  d'ceil  on  the  catafalque,  and  that  tiie  show 
was  after  all  incomplete.  Another  person  was  mortally  wounded, 
and  his  death  hourly  expected  and  waited  for  (and  prayed  for, 
no  doubt)  till  the  other  bodies  could  wait  no  longer.  Every 
day  the  moribund's  door  was  besieged  by  crowds  of  anxious 
inquirers.  Everywhere  the  question  was  asked — "  Est-il pret  ?"' 


"  Pas  encore"  the  mortifying  reply  ;  and  actually  the  man  was 
so  perverse  as  first  to  outlive  the  day  when  his  public  appear- 
ance en  corps  mort  would  have  added  so  greatly  to  the  gratifi- 
cation of  his  affectionate  fellow-citizens;  and  to  sneak  off  in 
single  blessedness,  when  not  a  soul  cared  sixpence  about  his 
exit !  This  is  a  real  fact.  What  pretty  playful  tiger-cats  those 
French  are — not  royal  tigers. 

I  fear  I  must  not  entertain  any  hope  of  seeing  you  again 
this  autumn.  In  truth,  I  had  scarcely  dared  to  encourage  so 
cheering  an  expectation.  If  the  cause  of  prevention  were  a 
happy  one  for  yourself,  my  regret,  being  wholly  selfish,  would 
be  far  other  than  it  is  now.  I  think  that  my  solitary,  isolated 
life  has  disposed  and  led  me  to  identify  my  feelings  with  those 
of  absent  friends — be  they  joyous  or  sorrowful — more  than  a 
continued  course  of  social  intercourse  could  have  done.  I  know 
not  whether  this  is  a  common  characteristic,  but  in  my  case  it 
is  often  a  happy  one,  for  good  tidings  of  dear  friends  almost 
always  charm  away  my  melancholy  moods.  To  be  sure,  there 
is  the  reverse,  as  I  prove  to  you  sometimes  when  anxious 
thoughts  impel  me  to  break  wise  resolves  and  write,  when  I 
had  better  wait  patiently.  Now,  farewell,  dear  friend,  and 
God  bless  you. 



BFCKLAND,  October  loth,  1835. 

How  altered  the  circumstances  of  the  two  families  of  Greta 
Hall  and  Bydal  since  I  passed  those  two  happy  months  at 
Keswick.*  May  the  cloud  yet  be  withdrawn  from  above  you 

*  Written  shortly  after  the  death  of  Wordsworth's  sister-in-law,  Miss 


even  in  this  world,  and,  at  all  events,  as  you  say,  "  but  a  little 
while,  a  very  little."  Those  are  the  very  words  I  oftenest 
murmur  to  myself  when  my  heart  is  sad,  and  "  the  spirit  vexed 
within  me,"  and  when  a  more  bitter  and  less  excusable  fancy 
thrills,  as  it  sometimes  does,  through  this  very  weak  heart  of 
mine — a  sudden  passionate  sense  of  deprivation  and  abandon- 
ment ;  if  I  do  but  whisper  those  other  scriptural  words  "  Some- 
thing better,  something  better,"  they  act  upon  my  disturbance 
like  oil  on  the  troubled  waves,  or  rather,  like  the  Voice  that  said 
to  them,  "  Peace,  be  still." 

Do  you  know  there  is  just  one  sentence  I  would  fain  ex- 
punge from  the  first  volume  of  that  delectable  book  you  wot  of. 
Many  years  ago  you  wrote  it.  Some  years  ago  perhaps  I 
should  have  read  it  without  the  sensation  that  makes  me  pause 
upon  it  now,  as  if  I  were  treading  irreverently  on  holy  ground. 
You  will  understand,  if  you  do  not  feel  with  me,  when  I  point 
out  the  passage  in  the  sixteenth  page — "  Ladies !  the  same 
stone,"  &c.*  You  see  my  informant  was  right ;  the  first  edition 
has  gone  off  quicker  than  you  anticipated. 

As  for  the  comet,  it  is  quite  a  take-in — a  lack-lustre  creature, 
with  a  thin,  draggled  tail,  like  a  sick  turkey.  Do  not  send  my 
scientific  observations  to  the  newspapers;  they  have  enough 
communications  on  the  subject.  I  think  Halley's  comet  must 
"  keep  a  poet,"  as  well  as  Mister  Warren. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 


*  "So  ladies,"  said  I,    "the  stone  which  the  builders  rejected,"  and 
then,  looking  at  my  wife's  youngest  sister,  "  Oh,  it  will  be  such  a  book!" 



KESWICK,  November  8£/t,  1835. 

Henry  Taylor  has  been  in  Keswick  for  the  last  twelve  days. 
He  took  up  his  quarters  at  the  Queen's  Head,  walked  with  me 
every  day,  and  came  up  every  evening  to  tea.  After  church 
this  morning  he  departed,  and  we  are  left  to  ourselves  for  the 
winter.  He  is  writing  (for  anonymous  publication)  a  masterly 
treatise  on  the  business  of  a  statesman,  and  is  meditating  a 
tragedy,  of  which  Becket  is  to  be  the  chief  personage. 

You  have,  I  trust,  received  the  first  volume  of  Cowper ;  you 
will  have  to  wait  a  little  for  the  second ;  eleven  evenings  given 
to  Henry  Taylor  have  been  just  so  much  stoppage  of  my  work. 
However,  it  is  not  unfitting  that  there  should  thus  be  some 
such  interruptions.  But  after  the  second  the  ensuing  volumes 
will  reach  you  monthly  as  they  are  published ;  and  except  the 
Homer,  you  will  find  some  of  my  handiwork  in  all. 

A  letter  of  Mrs.  Unwin's  has  reached  me  too  late  for  use  in 
its  proper  place ;  but  it  is  a  very  important  one,  as  confirming 
my  opinion  of  the  extreme  want  of  judgment  on  the  part  of 
Cowper's  religious  friends,  as  they  are  called.  It  was  written 
to  Mrs.  Newton  while  Cowper  was  on  his  long  tarriance  in  the 
vicarage,  and  during  an  absence  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Newton ;  and 
it  appears  that  both  they  and  Mrs.  Unwin,  though  they  thought 
means  lawful  and  expedient  in  other  cases,  considered  his  a  par- 
ticular and  exempt  one,  and  were  persuaded  that  "the  Lord 
Jehovah  would  alone  be  exalted  when  the  day  of  his  deliverance 
came."  This  shows  why  so  many  months  elapsed  before  any 
application  was  made  to  Dr.  Cotton.  Some  letters  of  Lady 
Hesketh's  have  also  been  sent  me,  relating  to  her  removal  into 
Norfolk.  They  disclose  things  upon  which  Hay  ley  did  not 
like  to  touch,  and  of  which  Grimshawe  knows  nothing.  Indeed, 
that  man's  ignorance  respecting  Cowper's  real  circumstances  is 
marvellous.  He  is,  without  exception,  the  most  grossly  in- 


competent  editor  in  every  respect  that  ever  ventured  to  appear 
in  that  capacity. 

You  object  to  an  allusion  which  I  see  no  irreverence  in 
using,  because,  of  all  allusions,  those  to  scriptural  expressions 
and  scriptural  history  occur  most  readily  to  my  mind ;  partly, 
I  suppose,  because  my  mind  is  thoroughly  imbued  with  that 
history,  and  partly  perhaps  because,  of  all  others,  one  may 
presume  that  they  are  most  generally  and  readily  understood. 
(Yet  will  you  believe  that  when  I  wrote  "  The  breath  of  Grod 
goes  forth,  the  dry  bones  shake,"  Croker  said  that,  coming  from 
me,  he  supposed  it  must  be  a  scriptural  allusion,  and  did  not 
recognise  it?)  The  Portuguese  and  Spaniards,  in  their  re- 
ligious poems,  sport  and  even  jest  with  subjects  which  they  yet 
regard  with  such  intense  belief  that  they  would  put  anyone  to 
death  for  intentionally  profaning  them.  I  do  not  say  this  to 
excuse  myself,  but  as  a  proof  that  light  allusions  may  be  a 
characteristic  of  serious  belief,  as  puritanical  ones  are  of  phari- 
seeism  and  hypocrisy. 

God  bless  you. 



BUCKLAND,  November  15th,  1835. 

I  know  well  enough  that  scriptural  allusions  may  spring 
from  anything  but  irreverence,  for  they  suggest  themselves  to 
me  so  familiarly  and  appositely  on  all  subjects  on  which  I  happen 
to  be  writing,  that  if  I  were  not  a  little  on  my  guard  I  should 
make  a  most  puritanical  patchwork  on  serious  subjects,  or  inter- 
weave with  light  ones  what  on  reflection  would  distress  me.  I 
have  such  a  sin  of  this  sort  on  my  conscience !  If  I  were  to 
tell  it  you,  you  would  admire  the  assurance  with  which  I  have 
dared  to  comment  upon  your  application  of  those  words.  Per- 


haps  my  accusing  conscience  makes  me  more  scrupulous  than  if 
I  had  never  offended.  Among  the  passages  which  I  have  re- 
turned to  again  and  again  in  a  certain  work,  is  one  which  comes 
particularly  home  to  my  feelings.  It  is  that  which  relates  to 
the  disuse  of  our  Christian  name,  to  which  we  become  gradually 
sadly  accustomed  as  we  advance  iu  life.  I  did  not  think  anyone 
could  have  felt  that  consequence  of  time  as  I  have  felt  it.  But 
I  was  mistaken  ;  for  reading  that  passage,  it  was  as  if  my  own 
heart  spoke.  When  you  first  called  me  by  my  Christian  name, 
the  tears  rushed  into  my  eyes  and  I  blessed  you  in  my  heart, 
for  I  felt  at  the  moment  as  if  the  grave  had  restored  to  me  a 
friend ;  a  better  feeling  succeeded ;  I  thanked  God  for  having 
raised  up  one  to  me  on  whom  I  might  rely  even  more  surely 
than  on  those  of  my  early  unreflecting  youth;  God  has  been 
very  good  to  me. 

Just  as  I  received  your  Cowper,  a  friend  sent  me  the  whole 
of  Grimshawe's  edition  that  I  might  look  over  the  engravings, 
and  I  have  thus  had  an  opportunity  of  comparing  the  two 
most  interesting  with  the  same  subjects  in  your  first  volume — 
Cowper  and  his  mother's.  Of  the  poet's  portraits  one  must  be 
no  likeness,  I  should  think,  the  features  are  so  utterly  dissimilar  ; 
the  expression  is  also  strikingly  at  variance  in  the  two,  but  so 
it  might  have  been  in  the  original,  according  to  his  varying 
mood.  Of  the  two,  Grimshawe's  strikes  me  as  the  most  pleasing 
because  the  happiest  expression,  but  it  is  less  intellectual  than 
the  other,  and  that  other  is  stamped  with  a  peculiarity  that 
would  go  far  to  prove  it  must  be  the  better  likeness — there  is  a 
character  of  insanity  in  it.  It  is,  I  think,  by  far  the  most 
spirited  engraving,  and  the  little  vignette  of  Berkhampstead  is 
a  very  pretty  thing.* 

*  In  a  later  letter  Caroline  Bowles  writes  of  the  Life  of  Cowper  as 
follows : — 

"  Eke  it  out  as  I  would,  your  second  volume  of  Cowper  came  at  last,  like 
all  created  things,  to  the  last  page,  and  left  me  fretting  for  the  rest.  You 
have  made  me  like  Mrs.  Unwin  much  better  than  I  did,  and  she  must  have 
been  loveable,  from  Lady  Hesketh's  account.  But  there  is  nothing  loveable 
in  that  face  of  hers  as  represented  in  the  engraving :  hard,  sharp,  for- 


I  am  no  longer  solitary  in  my  walks  nor  by  my  fireside. 
I  have  a  beautiful  small  spaniel  "  the  prettiest  of  his  race  and 
high  in  pedigree,"  and  as  he  already  sets  himself  in  a  posture 
of  defence  if  anybody  pretends  to  strike  or  affront  me,  I  give 
him  credit  for  a  character  quite  as  intellectual  as  Beau's.  I 
•wonder  you  have  never  set  up  a  dog,  if  only  for  a  walking 
companion;  and  you  had  a  tender  regard  for  a  certain  Phillis. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  February  21s£,  1836. 

Though  I  keep  no  account  of  days,  and  have  long  since 
learnt  that  it  is  better,  as  much-  as  possible,  to  put  all  private 
anniversaries  out  of  mind,  yet  I  happen  to  recollect  that  on 
this  day  twelvemonth  Cuthbert  and  I  arrived  in  London.  The 
journey  will  form  an  epoch  in  his  life,  and  it  was  one  which  I 
am  not  likely  to  forget  while  I  remember  anything.  When  I 
may  be  able  to  leave  home  again,  Gtad  only  knows.  My  presence 

mal,    and  most  puritanical-looking.     I  guessed  at  C L in  that 

passage  you  allude  to,  and  too  well  knew  from  what  other  source  you  had 
drawn  sad  experience.  I  see  you  have  inserted  the  poem  to  Lord  Thurlow  as 
Mrs.  Levett  sent  it  to  you,  and  there  can  he  no  reason  at  this  day  for  your 
not  doing  so.  I  do  think  Cowper  acted  with  something  like  caprice  to  Lady 
Austen,  and  she  was  too  exacting.  He  should  not  have  accustomed  her  to 
those  daily  periodical  visits  ;  or  at  least  when  he  found  it  expedient  to  dis- 
continue them,  he  should  have  given  her  the  true  reason  honestly,  and  then 
if  she  had  six  grains  of  good  sense  and  consideration  she  would  not  have  felt 
neglected  or  given  any  querulous  expression  to  her  feelings.  But  having 
taken  to  her  so  warmly,  friend  Cowper  does  seem  to  me  to  whistle  her  down 
the  wind  very  coolly.  Lady  Hesketh  was  worth  a  thousand  Lady  Austens, 
though  the  latter  was  a  little  spoiled  by  French  sentimentality." 


is  necessary  here,  and  there  is  no  likelihood  of  any  improvement 
that  might  render  it  prudent  for  me  to  be  absent.  We  are 
thankful  when  the  days  pass  quietly  ;  and  in  taking  no  thought 
for  the  morrow,  on  this  score  I  often  feel  that  sufficient  for  the 
day  is  the  evil  thereof.  God  be  thanked,  sufficient  is  the  good 

The  friend  whom  I  have  mentioned  as  resembling  Cowper 

in  the  peculiar  character  of  his  madness  is  poor  C L ; 

but  the  remark  concerning  the  dreaminess  of  this  state  is  con- 
firmed by  what  I  now  continually  observe.  You  will  understand 
me  if  (as  I  conclude)  you  have  by  this  time  received  my  second 
volume.  You  will  not  be  surprised  to  hear  that  the  Evangelical 
party  have  declared  war  against  me,  even  before  this  volume  was 
published.  Neville  White  tells  me  this;  he  says  that  in  a 
"  Church  of  England  Magazine  "  belonging  to  that  party  they 
have  put  forth  their  candid  regret  that  I  should  have  taken  up 
such  a 'subject;  and  he  says  moreover,  that  in  his  part  of  the 
country  (Norfolk)  most  amusing  efforts  have  been  made  to 
advance  the  sale  of  Grimshawe's  edition  and  impede  mine; 
women  are  the  most  zealous  parties  in  this  affair,  and  seem, 
he  says,  to  have  taken  it  up  as  a  holy  cause — a  sort  of  crusade. 
I  wish  Baldwin  and  Cradock  may  not  feel  the  effect ;  but  from 
what  takes  place  in  this  parish  I  can  see  that  this  party  are 
ready  to  "  go  the  whole  hog  "  in  anything. 

By  way  of  making  myself  better  acquainted  with  the  middle 
of  the  last  century,  that  is  to  say,  with  the  state  of  the  country, 
its  manners,  &c.,  during  that  time,  I  have  been  reading  all  the 
correspondence  on  which  I  could  lay  hands.  Two  volumes  of 
Shenstone's  and  his  friends  published/ by  Hull  the  actor,  Lady 
Luxborough's  Letters  to  Shenstone,  Lady  Hervey's,  Mrs.  Mon- 
tague's, four  volumes,  but  which  stop  at  the  year  1760.  A 
brilliant  creature  she  must  have  been  in  her  bloom,  yet  me- 
thinks,  notwithstanding  her  genius  and  her  beauty  I  should  not 
have  been  in  love  with  her.  Mrs.  Carter  and  her  friend  Miss 
Talbot  are  both  more  to  my  liking,  and  Beattie  is  a  man 
much  after  my  own  heart.  I  wish  his  Memoirs  had  contained 
more  of  his  letters.  There  is  no  entering  upon  any  one  line  of 


reading  without  being  led  on,  and  feeling  at  every  step  how 
much  more  you  ought  to  read  in  order  to  obtain  anything  like  a 
satisfactory  knowledge  of  it. 

I  have  a  drawer  full  of  manuscript  letters  to  go  through, 
which  I  got  possession  of  a  few  days  ago.  They  are  all  that 
remain  of  Mr.  Powley's  papers ;  he  married  Miss  Unwin ;  his 
widow  died  about  eight  months  ago,  and  the  papers,  upon  an 
intervening  death,  came  to  a  Mr.  Powley,  who,  having  been  a 
linen-draper  in  Bond-street,  has  retired  to  his  native  place  near 
Penrith,  and  from  him  I  have  obtained  them.  The  girls  have 
sorted  them  for  me  ;  but  as  yet  I  have  only  been  able  to  go 
through  some  from  Mr.  Haweis  and  from  Lady  Huntingdon — 
for  they  are  all  in  the  Evangelical  line,  and  will  be  of  much 
more  use  in  the  "  Life  of  Wesley  "  than  of  Cowper.  Haweis 
is  pretty  well  known  for  a  rogue.  In  a  letter  of  1768  he  says, 
"  Dear  Newton  and  Mr.  Cowper  have  been  here,  precious  men, 
whose  company  is  ever  a  blessing."  This  I  believe  is  the 
earliest  mention  of  Cowper  that  I  have  found  anywhere,  except 
the  acknowledgment  (without  his  name)  of  his  papers  in  the 
"  Connoisseur."  As  for  Lady  Huntingdon,  she  writes  like  a 
Head  of  her  own  Church,  a  She  Bishop  or  Pope  Selina.  I 
expect  to  meet  with  a  great  deal  of  curious  and  applicable 
information  in  this  correspondence. 

There  are  many  of  Newton's  letters,  and  these  no  doubt  will 
help  me  in  his  Life.  I  am  not  without  hope  that  I  may  find 
materials  here  for  a  sketch  of  the  rise  and  progress  of  the  Evan- 
gelical clergy  to  be  introduced  in  the  Life  of  Wesley. 

In  a  fortnight  or  three  weeks  at  farthest  I  hope  to  finish  the 
Life  of  Cowper.  There  will  still  be  enough  to  do  in  the  way  of 
notes  and  biographical  sketches,  besides  the  lives  of  Mr.  Newton 
and  Madame  Gruyon,  but  the  brunt  of  the  business  will  be  over, 
and  I  shall  forthwith  resume  the  fourth  volume  of  the  Admirals, 
for  which  I  am  better  paid  than  for  anything  which  I  ever  wrote 
before.  This  volume  will  contain  Essex,  Ealeigh,  Sir  William 
Monson,  Blake  and  Monk ;  and  then  I  mean  to  drop  the  bio- 
graphical form,  and  with  one  volume  of  naval  history  from  the 
Eevolution  to  the  close  of  the  last  war,  or  perhaps  the  battle  of 


Algiers,  conclude  the  work.  This  is  an  alteration  which  nun/ 
be  made,  because  from  that  time  there  is  less  of  personal  adven- 
ture ;  personal  character  becomes  less  conspicuous,  and  the  events 
belong  more  directly  to  the  general  history  of  the  country  ;  and 
it  must  be  made,  because  it  is  very  practicable  to  wind  up  in  one 
volume  upon  this  plan,  whereas  to  proceed  biographically  might 
require  three  or  four.  Moreover,  I  escape  all  difficulty  about 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 




KESWICK,  Easter  Monday,  April  4M,  1836. 

This  has  been  a  day  taken  up  in  advance  from  summer,  and 
it  drew  me  out  for  a  walk  round  the  lower  part  of  Leatheswater, 
and  over  the  three  bridges  at  its  division,  a  round  of  fourteen 
miles.  Now  that  the  pressure  of  business  is  over,  I  mean  to 
allow  myself  a  whole  morning's  walk  once  a- week.  Davies  will 
be  here  to-morrow  or  next  day  to  accompany  me,  for  a  long 
walk  usually  leads  me  into  unfrequented  ways,  and  therefore  it 
is  better  not  to  be  alone.  See  how  prudent  I  am  in  thus  bear- 
ing always  in  mind  the  possibility  of  some  accident ! 

The  last  proof  of  the  third  volume*  was  returned  to-day, 
unless  they  should  think  it  necessary  to  send  me  the  Contents. 
At  any  rate  you  will  receive  it  in  the  course  of  next  week,  and 
in  the  remaining  portion  of  the  Life  you  will  find  more  that 
will  be  new  to  you  than  in  the  former  volumes.  I  have  done 
my  best  to  relieve  a  melancholy  tale ;  and  I  am  sure  you  will 
think  I  have  done  right  in  making  no  flourish  at  the  end,  but 

*  Of  Cowper. 


concluding  simply  with  the  epitaphs.  What  more  there  may 
be  to  say  of  Cowper's  status  in  literature,  and  his  effect  upon 
his  successors,  will  come  better  among  the  supplementary  works 
of  supererogation. 

I  have  found  out  that  Mr.Unwin  was  not  thought  evangeli- 
cal enough  by  his  brother-in-law  Powley,  Mr.  Newton,  and  that 
party.  Indeed  I  have  been  employed  before  breakfast  upon 
Powley's  papers  for  the  last  four  or  five  weeks,  and  have  ex- 
tracted from  them  a  good  deal  which  will  be  useful  in  various 
ways ;  but  the  most  remarkable  [incident  ?]  which  has  come  to 
my  knowledge  is  the  story  of  John  Cowper  and  the  fortune- 
teller, mentioned  in  vol.  i.,  p.  219.  The  only  person  probably 
now  living  who  knew  all  the  circumstances,  and  certainly  the 
only  one  who  could  have  authenticated  them,  has  sent  me  a  full 
and  most  remarkable  account  of  them.  It  is  one  of  those  re- 
lations which  it  is  impossible  not  to  believe,  and  equally  im- 
possible to  account  for  in  any  satisfactory  manner.  I  shall 
insert  the  letter  among  the  Biographical  Sketches  at  the  end  of 
the  Correspondence. 

You  told  me  the  author  of  The  Doctor  was  a  Scotchman.* 
But  some  friends  of  H.  Taylor  say  that  he  is  Dr.  Bowring,  a 
retired  practitioner  at  Doncaster,  which  has  a  very  likely  sound 
with  it.  These  persons  know  all  about  him.  What  will  Black- 
wood  say  to  this  ? 

God  bless  you,  dear  Caroline. 


*  In  a  letter  of  October  15th,  Caroline  Bowles  had  written: — "I  had 
almost  forgotten,  owing  to  my  long  illness,  a  curious  observation  that  was 
made  to  me  some  time  previous,  at  a  dinner  party.  A  strange  gentleman 
who  sat  by  me  descanted  much  on  the  merits  and  demerits  of  ' The  Doctor.' 
He  was  cautious  of  declaring  his  own  opinion,  and  rather  puzzled,  I  believe, 
as  to  forming  any ;  but,  after  fishing  in  vain  for  mine  (I  soon  found  he  was 
not  worth  talking  to),  he  assumed  a  more  oracular  tone,  and  informed  me 
that  he  was  certain  of  two  points  on  the  best  authority — that  the  author  was 
a  Scotchman,  and  a  decided  enemy  to  the  Church  !  I  received  the  intima- 
tion with  the  most  deferential  meekness,  and  without  moving  a  muscle; 
after  that,  may  I  not  boast  of  command  of  countenance  d  toute  epreuve  ?  " 



KESWICK,  May  29th,  1836. 

You  are  right  in  supposing  that  it  was  a  wholesome  employ- 
ment for  me  to  write  the  Life  of  Cowper;  no  other,  I  verily 
believe,  could  have  been  more  so.  It  is  not  the  least  remarkable 
part  of  his  case,  that  when  he  became  decidedly  insane  on  one 
point,  he  recovered  the  right  use  of  his  intellectual  powers 
upon  all  others ;  for  certainly  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  if 
he  had  continued  in  what  both  he  and  Mr.  Newton  considered 
his  state  of  grace,  he  would  never  have  written  a  verse  above  the 
pitch  of  the  Olney  Hymns,  nor  a  letter  which  breathed  any  other 
feeling  than  that  of  the  narrow  sectarian  circle  within  which  he 
was,  as  it  were,  spell-bound.  He  would  have  been  lost  for  ever 
to  his  relations  and  to  the  world. 

I  wonder  what  sort  of  a  reception  Henry  Taylor's  "States- 
man" will  meet  with.  Considered  in  itself,  it  is  a  very  able 
and  judicious  treatise ;  but  though  nothing  can  be  written  more 
inoffensively,  nor  in  a  calmer  philosophic  spirit,  it  will  be  worm- 
wood to  some  of  those  persons  who  are  most  likely  to  read  it. 
Little  interested  as  you  may  be  in  the  subject,  it  is  very  well 
worth  your  reading,  even  if  you  were  not  curious  enough  to 
desire  to  see  it  for  the  writer's  sake.  Have  you  read  the  "Life  of 
Sir  Thomas  Munro  "  ?  If  not,  you  will  do  well  to  send  for  it. 

The  Levetts  are  expected  on  the  9th.     I  wish  you  knew 

Mr.  B ,  who  engaged  their  quarters  for  them.     You  would 

delight  to  see  and  hear  him  in  the  pulpit,  and  you  would  marvel 
at  the  simplicity  of  his  character,  which  is  such  that  Parson 
Adams  was  a  man  of  the  world  in  comparison.  His  wife  is  a 
great  invalid,  and  being  a  real  sufferer  imputes  much  of  her 
suffering  to  the  spot  where  she  happens  to  be  fixed ;  so  that  they 
have  led  a  sort  of  migratory  life  for  several  years,  Buttermere 
being  the  place  which  she  has  tried  oftenest,  and  on  the  whole 
liked  best.  But  owing  to  his  utter  deafness,  and  her  state  of 
health,  the  children  have  grown  up  like  young  colts;  and 
the  "incoherent  transactions"  of  the  whole  family  would  fill 

Z  2 


a  volume.  The  eldest  daughter  is  a  nice  girl,  about  seven- 
teen, who  smiles  up  to  her  eyes  with  good-nature ;  and  fears 
neither  wind  nor  weather,  man  nor  beast,  when  she  is  mounted 
on  her  pony.  Her  sister,  about  a  year  younger,  is  such  a  girl 
that  when  we  had  a  huge  caravan  of  wild  beasts  here  last  week 
(fourteen  carriages),  somebody  said  she  would  be  in  her  place  if 
she  were  attached  to  them.  Poor  girls !  it  is  very  unfortunate 
for  them  that  we  cannot  have  them  sometimes,  where  they 
might  have  learned  a  little  needful  restraint,  a  little  needful 
prudence,  and  some  of  the  ways  of  that  class  in  society  to 
which  they  belong. 

They  are  living  now  at  Leatheswater,  six  miles  from  hence. 
As  Mr.  B drives  backward  and  forward,  he  takes  up  any- 
one whom  he  finds  on  the  road,  without  distinction  of  persons, 
clean  or  unclean  matters  not  to  him. 

One  of  the  Bagots,  who  was  with  him  here  as  a  pupil,  was 
the  only  person  who  could  keep  the  younger  children  in  any 
order ;  the  mother  letting  them  make  what  uproar  they  will, 
and  the  father  being  so  deaf  that  he  could  not  hear  the  Last 
Trumpet  unless  his  own  should  happen  to  be  at  hand.  But 
with  all  his  eccentricities  you  would  be  charmed  with  him  :  his 
whole  heart  is  in  his  duty :  he  is  overflowing  with  kindness,  and 
you  never  saw  a  more  cheerful  and  benevolent  countenance. 

God  bless  you,  dear  Mend. 


RESWICK,  June  12/J,  1836. 

I  am  looking  every  day  for  your  little  book,*  and  should  be 
glad  to  hear  that  there  is  more  in  it  than  the  single  poem,  if  I 

*  "  JH*  JNHUby,  4r."     "From  ttb  date  Miss  C.  Bowles's  letters 
[with  one  exception]  an  unhappily  lost.    They  von  afl  tied  up  together, 


were  not  sorry  that  you  had  curtailed  that  poem,  of  which  all 
that  I  saw  was  very  sweet.  The  Levetts  arrived  on  Thursday, 
and  seem,  disposed  to  like  everything.  They  have  not  been 
here  yet ;  indeed  there  has  been  no  time,  for  I  went  to  look  for 
them  on  the  Friday  (doubting  whether  they  would  have  come 
through  the  unceasing  rain  of  the  preceding  day),  and  yesterday 
evening  took  Bertha  to  call  on  them.  Kate  is  from  home  just 
now.  She  went  on  Tuesday  last  to  Bydal,  much  to  dear  Dora's 
comfort ;  and  if  a  situation  on  the  coast  can  be  found  to  which 
it  is  possible  for  Dora  to  be  removed,  Kate  will  go  with  her. 
Fond  as  my  daughters  (I  must  cease  to  call  them  girls)  always 
were  of  Dora  and  her  mother,  Miss  Hutchinson's  death  seems  to 
have  drawn  those  cords  of  affection  closer — for  in  her  I  hardly 
know  which  family  lost  most.  Wordsworth  is  in  London,  and 
talks  of  going  to  France.  He  is  better  anywhere  than  at  home, 
where  his  extreme  anxiety  for  Dora  worries  her.  God  knows 
there  is  but  too  much  cause  for  him  to  be  anxious !  But  if  he 
can  be  less  uneasy  at  a  distance,  it  is  better  on  everybody's 
account  that  he  should  be  away. 

There  is  so  much  that  you  will  delight  in,  in  Sir  Thomas-^ 
Browne's  works,  that  if  you  are  not  already  acquainted  with 
them  I  think  you  will  thank  me  for  advising  you  to  send  for 
the  new  edition  in  four  volumes,  published  by  Pickering.  He 
is  one  of  my  worthies.  I  am  sure  you  will  agree  with  me 
that  it  would  have  been  a  sin  in  the  Editor  if  he  had  with- 
held his  wife's  letters,  or  any  of  the  postscripts  relating  to  little 
Tommy.  But  Sir  Thomas  was  a  wise  and  good  man,  a  true 
philosopher  in  the  best  sense  of  the  word ;  and  if  his  wife  is  not 
to  be  classed  as  a  writer  with  Mrs.  Hutchinson,  or  the  wife  of 
Sir  William  Temple,  or  that  Duchess  of  Newcastle  who  seems 
rather  a  creature  of  romance  than  of  real  life,  yet,  I  dare  say 
Sir  Thomas  found  her  a  good  helpmate.  When  the  book  comes 
to  you,  turn  to  page  108  in  the  fourth  volume,  and  see  how 
admirably  he  describes  the  feelings  of  threescore. 

and  collected  according  to  the  year,  when  I  was  last  at  Buckland.  My 
idea  is  that  they  were  burnt  (by  mistake)  with  other  papers."— (Note  by 
Mr.  Warier). 


I  have  outgrown  all  wish  for  making  any  new  acquaint- 
ances in  this  world  ;  but  I  have  a  deep  desire  to  become 
acquainted  in  the  next  with  all  those  whom  I  regard  as  I  do 
Sir  Thomas  Browne.  I  shall  know  him  by  his  likeness  to 
Charles  the  First. 

I  have  put  Levett  in  possession  of  the  Ark,  and  supplied 
the  ladies  with  books.  There  is  something  very  delightful  in 
that  familiarity  which  springs  up  at  once  from  school- acquaint- 
ance, after  so  long  an  interval,  and  when  you  find  that  the  old 
man  is  what,  from  your  knowledge  of  the  boy,  you  had  sup- 
posed him  to  be. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  September  Wth,  1836. 

My  poems  are  to  be  got  into  ten  volumes,  by  close  packing ; 
each  of  the  long  poems  will  be  comprised  in  one  volume,  and 
the  others  compressed  in  the  same  proportion.  My  brother's 
advice  was  to  begin  with  Joan  of  Arc,  which  has  been  some 
years  out  of  print,  and  so  let  the  three-deckers  force  a  passage 
for  the  small  craft.  Wordsworth  is  inclined  to  agree  with  him, 
and  in  things  of  no  greater  moment  than  this  I  am  always  wil- 
ling to  follow  the  opinion  of  others.* 

*  In  a  letter  of  August  10th,  1836,  Southey  speaks  of  this  preparation 
for  a  collective  edition  of  his  poems  as  "  a  step  towards  setting  my  house 
in  order."  "  On  Friday,"  he  says,  "I  enter  upon  my  sixty-third  year, 
which  used  to  be  deemed  the  m'ost  critical  according  to  a  philosophy  about 
numbers,  which,  in  the  revolution  of  opinion,  is  coming  into  vogue  again ; 
seven  and  nine  are  the  critical  numbers  in  the  human  constitution,  and 
they  meet  in  sixty-three ;  but  it  has  been  very  truly  said  that  the  age  of 
nine  times  nine  is  even  more  critical  still.  That,  I  trust,  I  shall  not  be 
called  upon  to  experience. 


The  Levetts  leave  Keswick  on  the  27th ;  they  have  taken 
very  bad  weather  with  very  good  humour.  Miss  Hussey  has 
taken  to  Bertha  and  Kate,  and  they  cannot  help  liking  her 
quiet,  modest,  creep-mouse  manner.  She  is  learning  to  bind 
books  in  their  fashion,  and  is  a  very  promising  apprentice, 
being  remarkably  clever  with  her  hands,  which  is  the  most 
serviceable  kind  of  cleverness.  It  is  to  be  hoped  she  may  find 
some  one  who  will  know  how  to  appreciate  her  gentle,  con- 
fiding, affectionate  disposition. 

I  think  of  cutting  out  some  work,  or  rather  of  setting  some 
aside,  to  be  done  in  Buckland,  as  in  1831,  so  I  shall  just  show 
Cuthbert  to  you,  send  him  on  to  Tarring,  and  follow  him  after 
a  few  days. 

It  is  now  settled  that  I  may  extend  my  Naval  Biography  to 
six  volumes,  and  this  pleases  me  well,  though  I  should  rather  be 
employed  upon  the  History  of  Portugal.  A  fifth  volume  will 
contain  all  the  remaining  lives  down  to  the  Ee volution.  I  may 
then  more  conveniently  drop  the  biography,  and  resume  the 
form  of  continuous  history,  because  after  that  time  individual 
character  becomes  less  conspicuous,  and  naval  actions  are  more 
connected  with  general  politics.  There  is  an  end  indeed  of 
personal  interest,  and  the  interest  of  adventure  also,  for  which  I 
must  endeavour  to  find  compensation  in  clear  general  views. 
Concluding  with  the  Battle  of  Algiers,  the  book  will  have  by 
good  fortune  the  termination  possible ;  because  in  the  next  war 
steam  must  be  brought  into  action ;  the  character  of  naval  war- 
fare must  undergo  a  change,  with  which  a  new  epoch  will 
commence.  It  is  not  unlikely  that  this  work  may  be  worth 
correcting  and  improving  from  materials  which  I  did  not 
possess,  or  was  not  acquainted  with  during  its  progress. 

Dear  Caroline,  God  bless  you. 




BEDMINSTER,  November  6th,  1836. 

Here  I  am,  dear  Caroline,  on  the  way  to  the  Land's  End. 
Monday  we  made  for  Birmingham,  and  thence,  six  miles,  to  an 
old  and  large  house  called  Pipe  Hayes,  where  Mr.  Egerton 
Bagot  (a  clergyman  and  a  widower),  the  son  of  Cowper's 
correspondent,  is  living  like  a  hermit  alone.  We  dined  with 
him  that  day,  and  remained  till  four  o'clock  on  the  Wednes- 
day, during  which  time  I  read  over  all  his  father's  corre- 
spondence, and  found  enough  to  repay  me  for  the  days  so 
spent.  But  we  saw  no  other  person  while  we  were  there,  such 
is  the  solitary  life  that  he  appears  to  lead.  Thursday  we  went 
from  Birmingham  to  Bristol,  and  here  we  are  in  the  house  of 
my  old  friend  and  early  publisher  Joseph  Cottle,  the  simplest 
and  kindest-hearted  of  men. 

Alas !  I  have  work  to  do  which  I  could  not  get  through  at 

This  morning  I  am  going  to  the  church  which  I  used  to 
frequent  with  my  grandmother,  and  have  never  entered  since 
the  year  1782. 

The  seat  into  which  the  sextoness  introduced  me  (for  the 
Cottles  are  dissenters)  was  exactly  opposite  the  spot  on  which 
my  grandmother's  pew  had  stood.  That  I  perfectly  remem- 
bered, and  recollected  an  old  monument  above  it ;  but  the 
whole  inside  of  the  church  has  been  fitted  up  some  ten  or 
twenty  years  ago.  Still  it  was  the  same  church,  externally 
unchanged,  and  the  same  hills  were  seen  through  the  same 
windows ;  and  perhaps — nay,  probably  even — of  all  the  persons 
who  had  been  present  in  that  church  when  I  was  last  in  it, 
fifty-four  years  ago,  I  may  have  been  the  only  survivor. 

There  have  been  times,  and  are,  dear  friend,  when  I  feel 
like  Eleemon,  as  if  the  fountain  of  tears  were  dry ;  as  if  my 
eyes  had  been  seared,  and  my  heart  had  been  so  often  and  so 


long  upon  the  anvil  that  it  had  been  rendered  insensible.  But 
to-day  it  was  with  great  difficulty  that  I  could  so  far  command 
myself  as  not  to  let  my  emotions  be  seen. 

After  church  we  walked  to  Bristol,  where  I  left  a  card  with 
your  kinsman  of  unhappy  name.  He  was  not  returned  from 
church.  I  shall  accept  no  invitation,  except  to  breakfast,  during 
my  stay  here,  because  we  are  a  mile  and  a  half  from  the  town, 
and  because  my  evenings  will  be  required  for  work.  Cuthbert 
is  very  much  pleased  with  Bristol,  which  Landor  (who  is  here) 
agrees  with  me  in  thinking  beyond  all  comparison  the  most 
interesting  and  beautiful  city  in  England.  I  have  shown  him 
a  great  deal  already,  and  shall  show  him  to-morrow  my  grand- 
mother's house  and  the  garden — which  was  my  Garden  of 
Eden — where  some  of  the  fruit-trees  which  my  grandfather  had 
planted  were  standing  when  I  was  there  in  1831.  Tuesday,  if 
weather  be  favourable,  I  shall  take  him  to  look  at  my  old  school 
at  Corston. 

We  go  on  Saturday  next  to  visit  Bowles,  then  to  Taunton, 
where  my  good  aunt  is  ready  and  waiting  for  her  release,  at  a 
great  age.  The  hope  of  seeing  her  once  more  in  this  world  has 
been  one  of  the  inducements  to  this  journey,  for  she  was  as  fond 
of  Cuthbert  when  he  was  two  years  old  as  she  had  been  of  me 
when  I  was  of  the  same  age.  We  then  go  down  the  north 
coast  to  Derwent  Coleridge,  at  the  Land's  End,  and  up  the 
south,  making  sundry  halts  upon  the  way.  Christmas  I  expect 
to  pass  with  my  old  friend  Lightf oot,  near  Crediton,  and  New 
Year's  Day  most  probably  with  you.  The  resolution  with 
which  I  left  home  was  not  to  hurry  myself  upon  this  circuit, 
but  to  see  as  much  as  we  could  upon  the  way,  and  not  to  regard 
a  week  or  two  of  time,  or  a  little  additional  expense,  upon  a 
journey  which  (in  its  full  extent)  I  am  never  likely  to  repeat, 
and  which  Cuthbert  will  always  remember. 

My  accounts  from  home  could  not  be  more  favourable.  My 
first  letter  produced  an  expression  of  some  interest  in  its  con- 
tents ;  my  absence  occasions  no  uneasiness,  and  my  return  will, 
I  dare  say,  be  looked  for  with  as  much  pleasure  as  my  poor 
Edith  is  now  capable  of  finding  in  anything.  For  myself,  I 


shall  be  the  better  for  this  journey,  shall  lay  up  much  for 
remembrance  and  for  use,  and  be  heartily  glad  to  find  myself 
once  more  at  rest  in  my  appointed  course  of  duty. 

God  bless  you,  dear,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  February  23rd,  1837. 

On  Tuesday  I  sent  off  a  short  preface  to  Cowper's  Homer, 
reserving  my  remarks  upon  that  translation  for  the  Cowperiana, 
of  which  there  are  to  be  two  volumes  :  one  relating  to  him,  his 
family,  and  his  literary  friends,  the  other  containing  the  lives  of 
Mr.  Newton  and  Madam  Gruyon.  Your  communications  from 
Mr.  F.  Eoss  were  of  signal  use.  I  obtained  from  Inglis  a  sight 
of  the  sealed  letter.  How  little  are  men's  memories  to  be 
trusted  upon  points  of  which  they  have  no  cause  to  take  partt- 
cular  notice  at  the  time !  The  letter  was  not  from  Newton  to 
Mr.  Thornton,  but  from  Thornton  to  him ;  and  the  facts  of  the 
disappearance,  the  tracing  of  the  lost  person  to  France,  and  the 
supposed  cause  of  his  thus  absconding,  relate  to  the  other 
William  Cowper,  as  clearly  ascertained  by  the  date.  What  then 
becomes  of  all  the  collateral  traditional  evidence  respecting  my 
Cowper's  real  or  supposed  malformation  ?  Have  the  two  name- 
sakes been  confounded,  like  the  two  Dromios  and  their  two 
masters  in  the  Comedy  of  Errors  ?  Or  did  my  Cowper  apply 
to  himself  what  was  reported  of  his  kinsman,  and  engraft  this 
miserable  imagination  upon  his  other  delusions  ? 

All  that  I  have  done  since  my  return  has  been  to  write 
letters,  and  I  am  still  far  from  seeing  the  end  of  this  occupation, 
so  many  which  reached  me  during  my  travels,  or  awaited  me 
here,  remain  yet  unanswered.  Except  this,  I  have  merely 


begun  to  revise  Joan  of  Arc,  correcting  the  diction  wherever  it 
can  be  done  without  more  cost  of  time  than  it  is  worth.  Long- 
man wishes  to  get  three  or  four  volumes  through  the  press 
before  the  monthly  publication  commences,  which  will  be  a 
month  after  that  of  Cowper  is  completed ;  if,  as  I  suppose,  there 
should  be  a  (supplementary)  15th  volume  of  Cowper,  containing 
the  yet  remaining  letters  and  the  translation  of  the  Henriade, 
we  shall  begin  with  the  month  of  August. 

Friday,  24th. — To-day  I  have  seen  the  sun  for  the  first  time 
since  my  return.  The  weather  continues  piercingly  cold  ;  but 
I  made  the  most  of  the  sunshine,  and  took  a  dutiful  walk  to  the 
Druidical  Arch.  You  have  received,  I  hope,  the  fourth  volume 
of  Admirals  (which  has  marvellously  little  to  do  with  sea  service), 
and  the  tenth  of  Cowper.  I  delight  in  the  prospect  of  supply- 
ing you  with  a  monthly  volume  for  many  months  to  come;  and 
every  little  improvement  that  I  make  in  the  process  of  revision 
gives  me  the  more  pleasure,  because  I  know  that  in  some 
instances  you  will  observe  it,  and  that  in  others  it  removes  some- 
thing which  you  would,  might,  or  ought  to  have  felt  amiss. 

And  now,  dear  friend,  (rod  bless  you.  Let  me  hear  that 
you  are  are  gaining  strength.  I  would  send  Dash  a  most 
friendly  greeting  if  he  could  understand  it.*  Once  more,  fare- 


*  Miss  Bowles  had  written  after  Southey's  departure  from  Buckland : 
"  Sorely  and  sadly  I  have  missed  you,  and  shall  miss  you  until  that  feeling 
of  deprivation  softens  into  one  of  grateful  and  pleasant  retrospection,  such 
as  I  have  learnt  to  live  upon  and  he  thankful.  I  will  not  agree  with  you 
that  it  may  he  better  never  to  meet  than  only  meet  to  part.  The  next 
pleasure  I  shall  have  will  he  to  hear  you  are  in  haven  again,  and  that  your 
return  home  and  the  welcome  of  your  dear  daughters  has  been  as  little  sad- 
dened as  possible  under  the  cloud  with  which  it  pleases  God  still  to  over- 
shadow you.  I  must  tell  you  that  Dashie  has  felt  your  departure  very 
sensibly :  I  found  him  the  next  day  scratching  at  your  bedroom  door ;  and 
when  my  solitary  dinner  was  brought  up  to  me  on  the  tray,  he  rushed  down 
again  and  bounced  open  the  bedroom  door,  barking  with  all  his  might  to  call 
you  to  partake." 




KESWICK,  Easter  Monday,  1837. 

I  sent  a  dose  of  cooling  admonition  to  the  poor  girl*  whose*-" 
flighty  letter  reached  me  at  Buckland.  It  was  well  taken,  and 
she  thanked  me  for  it.  It  seems  she  is  the  eldest  daughter  of  a 
clergyman,  has  been  expensively  educated,  and  is  laudably  em- 
ployed as  a  governess  in  some  private  family.  About  the  same 
time  that  she  wrote  to  me,  her  brother  wrote  to  Wordsworth, 
who  was  disgusted  with  the  letter,  for  it  contained  gross  flattery 
to  him,  and  plenty  of  abuse  of  other  poets,  including  me.  I 
think  well  of  the  sister  from  her  second  letter,  and  probably  she 
will  think  kindly  of  me  as  long  as  she  lives. 

The  revision  of  Joan  of  Arc  is  finished,  and  were  you  to  see 
the  corrected  copy  you  would  certainly  admire  my  resolution, 
and,  perhaps,  my  workmanship  also.  I  have  made  some  pro- 
gress in  the  general  preface,  and  have  another  to  write  for  this 
poem.  Except  in  prefatory  matter  to  the  long  poems,  there  will 
be  little  other  trouble  with  the  rest  of  the  volumes  than  that  of 
correcting  the  proof  sheets,  the  alterations  being  merely  verbal 
or  metrical  improvements,  many,  indeed  most  of  them,  made 
long  ago.  But  among  the  minor  poems  you  will  find  many 
which  have  not  before  been  collected. 

Your  Irvingite  pamphlets  have  told  me  a  great  deal  which  I 
had  never  heard  of  before,  and  which  is  well  worth  knowing. 
Shall  we  ever  see  any  great  effect  produced  by  delusion  and  im- 
posture of  this  kind,  as  in  former  times  ?  It  would  be  rash  to 
say  no  too  positively,  and  I  shall  note  it  down  as  a  question  to 
be  discussed  in  colloquy.  The  failure  of  the  St.-Simonians  does 
not  prove  it  to  be  impossible ;  they  were  much  too  reasonable  in 
some  of  their  political  views,  and  much  too  profligate  in  their 
conduct.  Strict  morals  and  extravagant  doctrines  would  have 

*  Charlotte  Bronte. 


succeeded  better.  It  is  neither  by  one  nor  the  other  that  our 
dissenters  increase  wherever  they  are  increasing ;  their  per- 
suasion is  their  party,  and  worldly  convenience  is  in  every  sect 
the  bond  of  union. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 



KESWICK,  June  26<A,  1837. 

I  have  learned  to  look,  if  not  with  complacency,  at  least  with 
great  composure,  upon  the  progress  of  political  events — not  as 
being  indifferent  to  the  course  which  they  may  take,  but  in  a 
quiet  confidence  that  all  things  will  be  better  ordered  for  us  than 
we  could  order  them  for  ourselves.  The  young  Queen's  beha- 
viour at  her  Proclamation  was  so  natural,  and  so  much  what  one 
would  have  wished  it  to  be,  that  I  shall  endeavour  to  make 
some  use  of  it,  as  soon  as  I  can  determine  in  what  form  to  em- 
body what  I  have  to  say.  At  present  I  incline  to  prefer  that 
kind  of  lyric  unrhymed  verse  in  which  most  of  my  ex-qfficio  odes 
have  been  written.  The  strain  will  be  hopeful  and  consolatory, 
showing  her  that  her  task  is  not  difficult,  that  her  paths  may  well 
be  those  of  pleasantness  and  peace,  and  introducing  some  whole- 
some hints  respecting  the  Poor  Laws  and  the  factory-children, 
to  tell  her  what  the  reforms  are  of  which  the  nation  stands  in 
need,  and  cheer  her  with  an  assurance  that  the  heart  of  England 
will  be  with  her,  and  the  Lord  the  strength  of  her  salvation. 

What  you  lose  in  all  translations  of  Homer  is  the  beauty  o£— 
the  style,  which,  with  the  simplicity  of  the  old  ballad,  has  the 
advantage  of  the  most  harmonious  language  in  the  world,  and 
the  finest  metre — a  strain  of  verse  which  always  satisfies  and 
delights  the  ear.  No  translation  can  either  represent  this  or 
afford  any  compensation  for  it.  The  Greek  tragedies  are  not  in 


the  same  manner  injured  by  translation,  because  neither  their 
tragic  metre  nor  their  lyrical  verse  is  better  than  our  own. 

Homer  is  still  a  mystery.  I  am  inclined  to  agree  with  those 
critics  who  suppose  that  the  Iliad  is  a  Macphersonized  collection 
of  genuine  Ossianic  poems,  not  the  work  of  one  man ;  that  the 
form  in  which  we  have  it  was  given  it  in  the  time  of  Pisistratus, 
and  that  the  language,  like  that  of  all  poems  which  have  been 
orally  transmitted,  had  undergone  a  gradual  modernisation,  so  as 
to  be  that  of  the  age  in  which  the  fragments  were  thus  embodied. 
The  people  to  whom  the  poem  relates  seem  to  have  been  as 
nearly  as  possible  in  the  same  stage  of  barbarism  or  civilization 
(call  it  which  you  will)  as  the  South  Sea  Islanders  when  the 
missionaries  became  acquainted  with  them.  I  like  such  people 
as  little  as  you  do;  but  magnanimity  and  matured  affec- 
tions are  found  in  all  stages  of  society,  except  where  men  are 
thoroughly  corrupted  in  the  rottenness  of  civilization,  or  where 
they  are  embruted  by  living  on  the  limits  of  the  living  world, 
and  so  case-hardened  by  what  they  are  exposed  to  as  to  be  de- 
prived of  half  their  feelings.  I  am  sure  that  there  are  passages 
in  Homer  which  have  brought  tears  into  your  eyes.  What  can 
be  more  truly  heroic  than  Hector  ?  "What  more  touching  than 
Andromache  and  old  Priam  ? — and  how  generous  is  their  treat- 
ment of  Helen !  A  volume  of  letters  will  follow  the  Odyssey, 
and  complete  the  works.  The  Cowperiana  must  be  at  my  con- 
venience ;  but  the  first  volume  of  my  poems  will  be  ready  for 
you  the  month  after  Cowper  is  completed. 

Bertha  has  counted  the  books  lately — they  amount  to  more 
than  12,500.  Storage  could  not  be  found  for  more  than  another 
500,  so  you  see  there  must  soon  of  necessity  be  a  stop  put  to  their 
increase.  The  review  of  Mrs.  Bray's  book  has  been  a  mill-stone 
about  my  neck,  and  I  am  not  yet  rid  of  it,  but  expect  to  be  so 
soon.  What  I  have  made  most  way  with  has  been  Bell's  Life. 

June  28th. — I  must  now  make  up  the  haughtygraffs  which  I 
have  just  written,  and,  as  I  now  perceive,  mis-dated.  Ask  me 
without  scruple  whenever  you  wish  for  another  such  packet.  A 
wholesome  text  is  the  most  useful  thing  I  can  write  on  such 
occasions,  and  it  is  always  at  hand,  and  in  this  shape  they  go 


conveniently  in  a  letter.  Cuthbert  and  his  sister  desire  their 
kindest  regards.  I  shall  be  with  you  once  a-month  in  print  for 
the  next  twelve  months,  and  perhaps  in  person  again  before  the 
end  of  that  time. 

Dear  friend,  God  bless  you. 



KESWICK,  July  23rd,  1837. 

That  you  should  like  Cottle's  book,  dear  Caroline,  is  as  im- 
possible as  it  would  be  for  you  to  dislike  Cottle  himself,  if  you 
knew  him  as  I  know  him ;  but  unless  you  knew  him  thus 
thoroughly,  you  could  not  believe  that  such  simple-heartedness 
and  such  inordinate  vanity  were  to  be  found  in  the  same  person. 
One  thing  he  has  made  me  fully  sensible  of,  and  that  is,  how 
liable  the  most  cautious  biographer  is  to  be  misled  by  what 
should  seem  to  be  the  most  trustworthy  documents.  Such  a 
confusion  of  times  and  circumstances  as  he  has  made  in  his 
Recollections  I  never  met  with  in  any  other  book ;  and  for  this 
reason,  no  doubt,  that  my  own  knowledge  could  never  in  any 
other  instance  enable  me  to  detect  k. 

Wordsworth  and  I  have  always  dreaded  the  indiscretion  of 
Coleridge's  admirers,  and  the  exposure  of  his  character  which 
was  certain  to  ensue.  Cottle  has  withheld  a  good  deal,  upon  his 
own  sense  of  propriety,  little  scrupulous  as  he  may  seem  to  have 
been ;  and  he  has  struck  out  more  at  my  desire ;  and  yet  the 
impression  which  his  book  leaves  is  just  what  you  describe  upon 
all  those  who  feel  that  intellectual  strength  affords  no  excuse 
for  the  disregard  of  moral  obligation. 

Charles  Lamb's  letters  have  just  reached  me.  If  the  whole 
story  could  have  been  told,  this  would  have  been  one  of  the  most 
painfully  interesting  books  that  ever  came  from  the  press.  When 


I  saw  Talfourd  in  January  last,  lie  seemed  fully  aware  how 
much  better  it  would  have  been  to  have  delayed  the  publication 
for  some  years.  But  in  this  age,  when  a  person  of  any  notoriety 
dies,  they  lose  as  little  time  in  making  a  book  of  him  as  they 
used  to  do  in  making  a  mummy.  To  be  sure,  there  are  some 
reputations  which  will  not  keep,  and  must  therefore  be  brought 
to  market  while  they  are  fresh.  But  poor  Lamb's  is  not  of  thai  • 
kind.  His  memory  will  retain  its  fragrance  as  long  as  the  best 
spice  that  ever  was  expended  upon  one  of  the  Pharaohs. 

You  may  well  suppose  that  all  these  recent  publications,  in 
which  there  is  so  much  concerning  myself,  bring  with  them  to 
me  anything  but  what  is  cheering. 

August  12. — To-day  I  send  off  the  advertisement,  &c.,  to 
the  concluding  volume  of  Cowper's  works.  The  edition  is  now 
complete.  But  to  complete  my  purpose  there  must  be  two 
volumes  of  Cowperiana,  which  you  will  have  in  due  time.  It 
is  a  great  thing  to  have  this  off  my  hands. 

Dear  friend,  Gk>d  bless  you. 



KESWICK,  November  2Qth,  1837. 

Winter  has  begun  with  us  unusually  early,  and  it  is  as  cold 
now  as  in  the  ordinary  course  of  the  seasons  it  is  at  Christmas. 
This,  however,  is  better  than  the  heavy  storms  of  wind  and  rain 
which  preceded  this  frost,  and  rendered  it  impossible  for  Bertha 
and  Kate  to  get  out  of  doors.  Yesterday  was  the  first  day  that 
they  could  walk  out.  Their  health,  thank  Grod,  has  not  suffered, 
and  at  their  time  of  life  their  spirits,  in  the  wise  order  of  nature, 
have  a  tendency  to  recover  their  healthy  tone.*  For  myself, 

*  Mrs.  Southey  died  on  November  16th,  1837. 


truly  and  deeply  thankful  as  I  ought  to  be  and  am,  for  a 
deliverance  which  has  long  been  to  be  desired,  I  continually 
feel  the  separation.  I  never  felt  wholly  like  myself  anywhere 
but  at  home,  and  the  change  is  so  great  that  I  now  no  longer 
feel  like  myself  there.  This,  however,  will  be  the  best  place  for 
me  for  some  time  to  come,  so  that  if  it  were  convenient  for  me 
in  other  respects  to  move,  I  should  deem  it  advisable  to  let  some 
months  elapse  before  I  commenced  a  journey, 

December,  1. — By  this  time  you  will  have  received  my  second 
volume.  The  building  in  the  frontispiece  is  the  same  as  in  the 
vignette  title-page — another  view  of  the  school.  I  took  Cuth- 
bert  there  last  year ;  the  day  unluckily  proved  wet,  so  that  we 
could  not  walk  over  the  precincts  as  I  had  intended,  but  we 
obtained  admission  into  the  house,  now  in  a  wofully  dilapidated 
state,  being  half  inhabited  as  a  farm-house. 

Your  Bristol  kinsman  has  written  to  me  about  a  monument 
to  Chatterton,  and  an  inscription  for  it.  I  have  not  replied  to 
his  letter :  indeed  it  came  at  a  time  when  it  could  not  be  replied 
to.  But  my  intention  is  neither  to  subscribe  to  a  monument, 
nor  write  an  inscription  for  it.  Poets  require  no  monuments 
to  keep  their  memory  alive — if  it  deserves  to  live.  And  I 
not  undertake  as  a  school- task,  or  rather  imposition,  what  never 
could  be  done  well  unless  it  were  done  from  the  spontaneous 
and  warm  impulse  of  good  will.  I  did  my  part  for  Chatterton 
when  I  made  the  first  collection  of  his  works,  and  published 
them  for  the  benefit  of  his  sister. 

The  preface  to  Joan  of  Arc  has  brought  me  a  very  pleasing 
letter  from  one  who  says  it  was  his  "  allotted  task  at  the  age  of 
fifteen,  and  even  then  a  very  little  boy,  to  set  up,  in  the  new 
great  primer  type,  had  expressely  for  the  purpose,  the  first  page 
of  the  first  edition  of  Joan  of  Arc.  But  what  prompts  the  pride 
(he  says)  with  which  I  have  ever  cherished  the  remembrance  of 
this  event  is  the  vivid  recollection  that  I  did  it  in  your  im- 
mediate presence.  The  entire  scene  is  fresh  before  my  mind's 
eye  at  this  moment — my  priggish,  powdered  master,  Mr.  Bosses, 
standing  with  your  juvenile  self  near  the  stove  in  the  centre  of 
the  large  office,  and  I,  blushing  under  the  honours  of  my  ap- 

2  A 


pointed  task,  and  strongly  do  I  retain  the  remembrance  of  the 
feeling  nearly  allied  to  envy  with  which  I  eyed  the  slender 
youth  who  stood  near  me,  the  author  of  a  quarto  volume  of 
poetry."  The  whole  letter  may  very  fitly  be  made  use  of  in 
the  posthumous  edition  of  my  works.  In  the  present  both 
prudence  and  propriety  require  that  I  should  say  no  more  of 
myself  than  belongs  to  the  design  of  the  prefaces.  But  gar- 
nish of  this  kind  will  be  very  serviceable  hereafter. 

The  writer  of  this  letter  is  now  rector  of  Athelington  and 
vicar  of  Cretingham,  Suffolk.  His  name  is  Bichard  Brudenell 
Exton.  He  has  sent  me  some  local  and  political  satire  in 
Spenserian  verse,  with  a  good  deal  of  cleverness,  and  "A 
Discourse  delivered  at  the  16th  Anniversary  of  the  Framling- 
ham  District  Committee  of  the  Society  for  Promoting  Christian 
Knowledge,  in  the  Parish  Church  of  Framlingham,  September 
17,  1832."  I  have  transcribed  the  whole  title  for  you  because 
this  sermon  is  actually  in  blank  verse.  Bub  your  eyes  if  you 
will,  as  well  you  may.  In  blank  verse  he  composed  this  sermon, 
and  in  blank  verse  he  preached  it,  and  I  wish  you  and  I  had 
been  there  to  hear  it.  I  am  sorry  to  say  the  verse  is  very  bad ; 
indeed  he  does  not  seem  to  know  what  blank  verse  is,  though 
some  of  his  Spenserian  stanzas  show  both  ability  and  skill. 

Tell  me  how  you  bear  these  frequent  changes  of  weather.  I 
have  increased  my  daily  dose  of  exercise,  and  am  looking  in 
hope  to  the  lengthening  of  the  days,  when  daylight  will  allow 
me  to  rise  earlier. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 




KESWICK,  January  21st,  1838. 

I  got  "Warner's  Recollections  for  a  few   shillings  from  or 
catalogue  lately ;  you  know  I  looked  at  it  at  Buckland.     How 


much  better  it  is  in  every  respect  than  any  other  of  his  books 
that  have  fallen  in  my  way.  But  it  is  hardly  possible  that 
anyone  should  not  write  agreeably  when  relating  his  own  recol- 
lections of  early  life.  Even  with  all  allowances  for  vanity  and 
self-deceit,  the  truest  of  all  history  is  what  we  thus  draw  from 

Many  of  the  persons  whom  Warner  mentions  I  knew  some- 
thing of,  both  of  his  Christ  Church  acquaintances  and  his  Bath 
ones.  What  a  tremendous  change  has  taken  place  in  the 
general  character  of  society  within  his  memory  and  mine, 
though  I  suppose  him  to  be  nearly  ten  years  my  senior.  And 
as  if  the  old  mail  coach  rate  of  eight  miles  an  hour  was 
not  fast  enough  for  the  march  of  civilization,  the  devil  has 
been  raised  in  the  shape  of  steam  to  impel  us  at  his  own 
pace.  You  remember  the  proverb  "Needs  must  go  when  he 
drives."  One  of  the  worst  things  attending  this  revolution 
in  public  travelling  is,  it  leaves  you  no  choice.  At  this 
time  there  is  only  one  coach,  which  runs  from  Manchester 
to  London.  The  Birmingham  Railway  has  already  produced 
this  effect,  and  an  utter  recklessness  to  the  convenience  and 
safety  of  the  passengers  is  one  consequence  of  the  monopoly 
which  has  thus  been  gained.  The  confusion  when  the  luggage 
of  a  whole  train  is  thrown  down  at  the  end  of  its  course  is  said 
to  exceed  anything  one  has  ever  seen  of  this  kind.  As  to 
personal  safety,  there  must  be  less  danger  than  in  an  over- 
loaded coach,  and  there  is  also  less  fatigue  in  the  motion  itself, 
to  say  nothing  of  the  great  saving  in  that  respect  by  going 
twenty  miles  an  hour,  instead  of  eight.  But,  after  all,  slow  and 
sure  would  be  more  to  my  liking.  My  pleasantest,  or  I  might 
better  say  happiest,  travels  have  been  either  at  a  mule's  foot- 
pace, or  with  a  knapsack  on  my  own  shoulders. 

The  Longmans'  account  of  the  poems  to  my  brother  is,  that 
they  are  selling  "  very  fairly."  The  impression  of  1500,  they 
say,  will  just  about  cover  the  expenses,  leaving  profit  to  be 
derived  from  the  future  use  of  the  stereotypes  and  engravings. 
The  profit  upon  any  additional  500  would  be  considerable  ;  but 
I  suppose  that  not  many  sets  will  be  called  for  after  the 

2  A  2 


monthly  publication  is  completed ;  there  will  be  more  demand 
for  single  volumes,  or  portions.  What  an  abomination  is  the 
engraving  of  Keswick  in  the  third  volume!  I  never  saw  any- 
thing woise. 

God  bless  you,  dear  friend. 






March  1th,  1816. 

I  cannot  refrain  from  presenting  you  with  a  little  poem,f  the 
product  of  a  few  serene  hours  of  the  last  beautiful  autumn.  I  shall 
never  forget  the  pleasure  which  I  derived  from  your  conversation,  or 
the  kindness  with  which  I  was  received  in  your  hospitable  circle 
during  the  short  period  of  my  stay  in  Cumberland  some  years  ago. 
The  disappointment  of  some  youthful  hopes,  and  subsequent  mis- 
fortunes of  a  heavier  nature,  are  all  that  I  can  plead  as  my  excuse  for 
neglecting  to  write  to  you,  as  I  had  promised,  from  Ireland.  The 
true  weight  of  this  apology  you  cannot  know.  Let  it  be  sufficient 
that,  regarding  you  with  admiration  as  a  poet,  and  with  respect  as 
a  man,  I  send  you,  as  an  intimation  of  those  sentiments,  my  first 
serious  attempt  to  interest  the  best  feelings  of  the  human  heart, 
believing  that  you  have  so  much  general  charity  as  to  forget,  like 
me,  how  widely  in  moral  and  political  opinions  we  disagree,  and  to 
attribute  that  difference  to  better  motives  than  the  multitude  are 
disposed  to  allege  as  the  cause  of  dissent  from  their  institutions. 

Very  sincerely  yours, 


*  See  Introduction,  and  p.  76  of  Correspondence.      f  i.e.  Alastor. 




PISA,  June  2Gth,  1820. 

Some  friends  of  mine  persist  in  affirming  that  you  are  the 
author  of  a  criticism  which  appeared  some  time  since  in  the  Quarterly 
Review  on  the  "  Revolt  of  Islam." 

I  know  nothing  that  would  give  me  more  sincere  pleasure  than  to- 
be  able  to  affirm  from  your  own  assurance  that  you  were  not  guilty  of 
that  writing.  I  confess  I  see  such  strong  internal  evidence  against 
the  charge,  without  reference  to  what  I  think  I  know  of  the  generous 
sensibility  of  your  character,  that  had  my  own  conviction  only  been 
concerned,  I  should  never  have  troubled  you  to  deny  what  I  firmly 
believe  you  would  have  spurned  to  do. 

Our  short  personal  intercourse  has  always  been  remembered  by  me 
with  pleasure ;  and  when  I  recalled  the  enthusiasm  with  which  I  then 
considered  your  writings,  with  gratitude  for  your  notice,  we  parted,  I 
think,  with  feelings  of  mutual  kindness.  The  article  in  question, 
except  in  reference  to  the  possibility  of  its  having  been  written  by 
you,  is  not  worth  a  moment's  attention. 

That  an  unprincipled  hireling,  in  default  of  what  to  answer  in  a 
published  composition,  should,  without  provocation,  insult  over  the 
domestic  calamities  of  a  writer  of  the  adverse  party — to  which  perhaps 
their  victim  dares  scarcely  advert  in  thought — that  he  should  make 
those  calamities  the  theme  of  the  foulest  and  the  falsest  slander — that 
all  this  should  be  done  by  a  calumniator  without  a  name — with  the 
cowardice,  no  less  than  the  malignity,  of  an  assassin — is  too  common 
a  piece  of  charity  among  Christians  (Christ  would  have  taught  them 
better),  too  common  a  violation  of  what  is  due  from  man  to  man  among 
the  pretended  friends  of  social  order,  to  have  drawn  one  remark  from 
me,  but  that  I  would  have  you  observe  the  arts  practised  by  that 
party  for  which  you  have  abandoned  the  cause  to  which  your  early 
writings  were  devoted.  I  had  intended  to  have  called  on  you,  for  the 
purposes  of  saying  what  I  now  write,  on  my  return  to  England ;  but 
the  wretched  state  of  my  health  detains  me  here,  and  I  fear  leaves  my 
enemy,  were  he  such  as  I  could  deign  to  contend  with,  an  easy,  but  a 
base  victory,  for  I  do  not  profess  paper  warfare.  But  there  is  a  time 
for  all  things. 


I  regret  to  say  that  I  shall  consider  your  neglecting  to  answer  this 
letter  a  substantiation  of  the  fact  which  it  is  intended  to  settle — and 
therefore  I  shall  assuredly  hear  from  you. 

Dear  sir,  accept  the  best  wishes  of 

Yours  truly. 

P.  B.  SHELLEr. 




You  have  done  me  justice  in  believing  that  I  am  not  the 
author  of  the  criticism  in  the  Quarterly  Review  upon  the  "Revolt  of 
Islam."  I  have  never  in  any  of  my  writings  mentioned  your  name, 
or  alluded  to  you  even  in  the  remotest  hint,  either  as  a  man,  or  as 
an  author.  Except  the  "  Alastor  "  which  you  sent  me,  I  have  never 
read  or  seen  any  of  your  publications  since  you  were  at  Keswick. 
The  specimens  which  I  happen  to  have  seen  in  Reviews  and  News- 
papers have  confirmed  my  opinion  that  your  powers  for  poetry  are 
of  a  high  order,  but  the  manner  in  which  those  powers  have  been 
employed  is  such  as  to  prevent  me  from  feeling  any  desire  to  see 
more  of  productions  so  monstrous  in  their  kind,  and  so  pernicious  vo 
their  tendency.  You  perceive,  sir,  that  I  speak  as  I  think,  and 
therefore  you  will  not  ascribe  my  ready  and  direct  denial  of  the 
criticism  to  the  sort  of  menace  which  your  note  conveys,  nor  under- 
stand it  as  acknowledging  in  any  man  a  right  to  call  upon  me  for 
such  a  denial,  upon  no  better  grounds  than  a  mere  suspicion  which 
he  or  his  friends  may  choose  to  entertain.  Those  friends  of  yours 
who  have  persisted  in  affirming  that  I  am  the  author  can  have  had 
no  other  ground.  They  have  committed  the  gross  impropriety  of 
affirming  positively  what  they  could  not  possibly  know  to  be  true, 
and  what  happens  to  be  absolutely  false. 

I  reply  to  you,  sir,  because  I  cannot  think  of  you  without  the 
deepest  compassion.  Eight  years  ago  you  were  somewhat  displeased 
when  I  declined  disputing  with  you  upon  points  which  are  beyond 
the  reach  of  the  human  intellect — telling  you  that  the  great  differ- 
ence between  us  was,  that  you  were  then  nineteen  and  I  was  eight- 


and- thirty.  "Would  that  the  difference  were  no  greater  now !  You 
wrote  to  me  when  you  sent  me  your  "  Alastor,"  that  as  you  tolerated 
my  opinions,  you  supposed  I  should  tolerate  yours.  Few  persons  are 
less  intolerant  than  myself,  by  disposition  as  well  as  by  principle,  but 
I  cannot  admit  that  any  such  reciprocity  is  justly  to  be  claimed. 
Opinions  are  to  be  judged  by  their  effects — and  what  has  been  the 
fruit  of  yours?  Do  they  enable  you  to  look  backward  with  com- 
placency or  forward  with  hope  ?  Have  you  found  in  them  a  rule  of 
life  conducive  either  to  your  own  happiness,  or  to  that  of  those  who 
were  most  nearly  and  dearly  connected  with  you  ?  Or  rather,  have 
they  not  brought  immediate  misery  upon  others,  and  guilt,  which  is 
all  but  irremediable,  on  yourself  ? 

The  tone  of  your  letter  gives  me  a  right  to  address  you  thus ;  and 
there  is  one  passage  in  it  which  induces  a  hope  that  I  may  not  be 
addressing  you  in  vain,  for  it  appears  that  deadly  as  your  principles^" 
have  proved,  they  have  not  yet  wholly  hardened  your  heart.  Attend, 
I  beseech  you,  to  its  warnings.  Do  not  let  any  feeling  of  pride  with- 
hold you  from  acknowledging  to  yourself  how  grievously  and  fatally 
you  have  erred.  You  rejected  Christianity  before  you  knew — before 
you  could  possibly  have  known — upon  what  evidence  it  rests.  How 
utterly  unlike  in  this,  and  in  every  other  respect  to  the  superstitions 
and  fables  of  men's  devices,  with  which  you  in  your  presumptuousness 
have  classed  it.  Look  to  that  evidence  while  you  are  yet  existing  in 
Time,  and  you  may  yet  live  to  bless  God  for  any  visitation  of  sickness 
and  suffering  which,  by  bringing  you  to  a  sense  of  your  miserable  con- 
dition, may  enable  you  to  hope  for  forgiveness,  and  teach  you  where 
to  look  for  it.  God  in  his  infinite  mercy  bring  you  to  this  better 
mind  ! 

This  is  not  the  language  of  party  animosity,  nor  of  personal  ill- 
will.  Of  the  latter  you  will  at  once  acquit  me ;  and  if  you  do  not 
acquit  me  as  readily  of  the  former,  it  is  because  you  do  not  know  me 
enough,  and  are  too  much  under  its  influence  yourself. 

I  can  think  of  you  only  as  of  an  individual  whom  I  have  known, 
and  of  whom  I  had  once  entertained  high  hopes — admiring  his  talents 
— giving  him  credit  for  good  feelings  and  virtuous  desires — and  whom 
I  now  regard  not  more  with  condemnation  than  with  pity. 

JBelieve  me,  therefore,  to  be  your  sincere  well-wisher, 





PISA,  August  17<A,  1820. 

Allow  me  to  acknowledge  the  sincere  pleasure  which  I  received 
from  the  first  paragraph  of  your  letter.  The  disavowal  it  contained 
was  just  such  as  I  firmly  anticipated. 

Allow  me  also  to  assure  you,  that  no  menace  implied  in  my  letter 
could  have  the  remotest  application  to  yourself.  I  am  not  indeed  aware 
that  it  contained  any  menace.  I  recollect  expressing  what  contempt  I 
felt,  in  the  hope  that  you  might  meet  the  wretched  hireling  who  has  so 
closely  imitated  your  style  as  to  deceive  all  but  those  who  knew  you 
into  a  belief  that  he  was  you,  at  Murray's,  or  somewhere,  and  that 
you  would  inflict  my  letter  on  him,  as  a  recompense  for  sowing  ill- 
will  between  those  who  wish  each  other  all  good,  as  you  and  I  do. 

I  confess  your  recommendation  to  adopt  the  system  of  ideas  you 
call  Christianity  has  little  weight  with  me,  whether  you  mean 
the  popular  superstition  in  all  its  articles,  or  some  more  refined 
theory  with  respect  to  those  events  and  opinions  which  put  an  end 
to  the  graceful  religion  of  the  Greeks.  To  judge  of  the  doctrines  by 
their  effects,  one  would  think  that  this  religion  were  called  the  reli- 
gion of  Christ  and  Charity,  ut  lucus  a  non  lucendo,  when  I  consider  the 
manner  in  which  they  seem  to  have  transformed  the  disposition  and 
understanding  of  you  and  men  of  the  most  amiable  manners  and  the 
highest  accomplishments,  so  that  even  when  recommending  Christianity 
you  cannot  forbear  breathing  out  defiance,  against  the  express  words  of 
Christ.  What  would  you  have  me  think  ?  You  accuse  me,  on  what 
evidence  I  cannot  guess,  of  guilt — a  bald  word,  sir,  this,  and  one 
which  would  have  required  me  to  write  to  you  in  another  tone,  had 
you  addressed  it  to  any  one  except  myself.  Instead,  therefore,  of  re- 
fraining from  "judging  that  you  be  not  judged,"  you  not  only  judge 
but  condemn,  and  that  to  a  punishment  which  its  victim  must  be 
either  among  the  meanest  or  the  loftiest  not  to  regard  as  bitterer 
than  death.  But  you  are  such  a  pure  one  as  Jesus  Christ  found 
not  in  all  Judea  to  throw  the  first  stone  against  the  woman  taken 
in  adultery ! 

"With  what  care  do  the  most  tyrannical  Courts  of  Judicature  weigh 


evidence,  and  surround  the  accused  with  protecting  forms  ;  with  what 
reluctance  do  they  pronounce  their  cruel  and  presumptuous  decisions 
compared  with  you !  You  select  a  single  passage  out  of  a  life  other- 
wise not  only  spotless  but  spent  in  an  impassioned  pursuit  of  virtue, 
which  looks  like  a  blot,  merely  because  I  regulated  my  domestic 
arrangements  without  deferring  to  the  notions  of  the  vulgar,  although 
I  might  have  done  so  quite  as  conveniently  had  I  descended  to  their 
base  thoughts — this  you  call  guilt.  I  might  answer  you  in  another 
manner,  but  I  take  God  to  witness,  if  such  a  Being  is  now  regarding 
both  you  and  me,  and  I  pledge  myself  if  we  meet,  as  perhaps  you 
expect,  before  Him  after  death,  to  repeat  the  same  in  His  presence — 
that  you  accuse  me  wrongfully.  I  am  innocent  of  ill,  either  done  or 
intended ;  the  consequences  you  allude  to  flowed  in  no  respect  from 
me.  If  you  were  my  friend,  I  could  tell  you  a  history  that  would 
make  you  open  your  eyes;  but  I  shall  certainly  never  make  the 
public  my  familiar  confidant. 

You  say  you  judge  of  opinions  by  the  fruits ;  so  do  I,  but  by  their 
remote  and  permanent  fruits — such  fruits  of  rash  judgment  as  Christ- 
ianity seems  to  have  produced  in  you.  The  immediate  fruits  of  all 
new  opinions  are  indeed  calamity  to  the  promulgators  and  professors  ; 
but  we  see  the  end  of  nothing,  and  it  is  in  acting  well,  in  contempt 
of  present  advantage,  that  virtue  consists. 

I  need  not  to  be  instructed  that  the  opinion  of  the  ruling  party 
to  which  you  have  attached  yourself  always  exacts,  contumeliously 
receives,  and  never  reciprocates,  toleration.  "  But  there  is  a  tide 
in  the  affairs  of  men" — it  is  rising  while  we  speak. 

Another  specimen  of  your  Christianity  is  the  judgment  you  form 
of  the  spirit  of  my  verses,  from  the  abuse  of  the  Reviews.  I  have 
desired  Mr.  Oilier  to  send  you  those  last  published ;  they  may  amuse 
you,  for  one  of  them — indeed  neither  have  anything  to  do  with  those 
speculations  on  which  we  differ. 

I  cannot  hope  that  you  will  be  candid  enough  to  feel,  or  if  you 
feel,  to  own,  that  you  have  done  ill  in  accusing,  even  in  your  mind, 
an  innocent  and  a  persecuted  man,  whose  only  real  offence  is  the 
holding  opinions  something  similar  to  those  which  you  once  held 
respecting  the  existing  state  of  society.  Without  this,  further  cor- 
respondence, the  object  for  which  I  renewed  it  being  once  obtained, 
must,  from  the  differences  in  our  judgment,  be  irksome  and  useless. 
I  hope  some  day  to  meet  you  in  London,  and  ten  minutes'  conver- 
sation is  worth  ten  folios  of  writing.  Meanwhile  assure  yourself  that, 


among  all  your  good  wishers,  you  have  none  who  wish  you  better 
than,  dear  sir, 

Your  very  faithful  and  obedient  Servant, 


P.  S. — I  ought  not  to  omit  that  I  have  had  sickness  enough,  and 
that  at  this  moment  I  have  so  severe  a  pain  in  the  side  that  I  can 
hardly  write.  All  this  is  of  no  account  in  the  favour  of  what  you,  or 
anyone  else,  calls  Christianity  ;  surely  it  would  be  better  to  wish  me 
health  and  healthful  sensations.  /  hope  the  chickens  will  not  come 
home  to  roost  !* 


Yesterday,  sir,  I  received  your  present  of  the  Cenci  and  the  Pro- 
metheus. I  thank  you  for  these  books,  and  little  as  the  time  is  which 
I  can  allow  for  correspondence  of  any  kind,  I  think  it  proper  to 
[reply  to  ?]  your  letter  of  August  29th, f  which  announced  them. 

You  tell  me  that  I  have  selected  out  of  a  life  "  otherwise  not 
only  spotless,  but  spent  in  the  impassioned  pursuit  of  virtue,  a  single 
passage  which  looks  like  a  blot,  merely  because  you  regulated  your 
domestic  arrangements  without  reference  to  the  notions  of  the  vul- 
gar," and  you  accuse  me  of  passing  a  rash  and  unjust  judgment.  Let 
us  look  to  the  case — I  will  state  it  with  no  uncharitable  spirit,  and 
with  no  unfriendly  purpose. 

When  you  were  a  mere  youth  at  College  you  took  up  atheistical 
opinions — you  endeavoured  to  make  proselytes  to  these  opinions  in  a 
girls'  boarding-school.  One  of  the  girls  was  expelled  for  the  zeal  with 
which  she  entered  into  your  views,  and  you  made  her  the  most  hon- 
ourable amends  in  your  power  by  marrying  her.  Shortly  afterwards 
you  came  to  Keswick.  There  was  no  appearance,  when  I  saw  you, 
that  your  principles  had  injured  your  heart.  As  yet  you  had  had  no 
proof  of  this  tendency  in  yourself,  but  you  had  seen  a  memorable  one 

*  In  reference  to  the  motto  of  "The  Curse  of  Kehama"— "Curses  are 
like  young  chickens,  they  always  come  home  to  roost." 

f  Probably  an  error  in  Caroline  Bowles's  transcript:  query  August  llth. 


in  the  conduct  of  your  first  speculation  (speculative?)  and  literary 
associate,  who  accompanied  you  to  Scotland  on  your  matrimonial 
expedition,  and  on  your  way  back  would  have  seduced  your  wife. 
This  I  had  from  your  own  lips:  your  feelings  at  that  time  were 
humane  and  generous,  and  your  intentions  good.  I  felt  a  greater 
interest  in  your  welfare  than  I  expressed  to  you,  and  took  such 
indirect  means  as  were  in  my  power  of  assuring  your  father  that, 
erroneous  as  your  conduct  was,  it  was  still  to  be  expected  that  your"' 
heart  would  bring  you  right,  and  that  everything  might  be  hoped 
from  your  genius  and  your  virtues. 

Such  was  my  opinion  of  you  when  we  parted.  "What  I  heard  of 
your  subsequent  conduct  tended  always  to  lower  it,  except  as  regarded 
your  talents.  At  length  you  forsook  your  wife,  because  you  were  tired 
of  her,  and  had  found  another  woman  more  suited  to  your  taste.  You 
could  tell  me  a  history,  you  say,  which  would  make  me  open  my  eyes  : 
perhaps  they  are  already  open.  It  is  a  matter  of  public  notoriety  that 
your  wife  destroyed  herself.  Knowing  in  what  manner  she  bore  your 
desertion,  I  never  attributed  this  to  her  sensibility  on  that  score.  I 
have  heard  it  otherwise  explained  :  I  have  heard  that  she  followed  your 
example  as  faithfully  as  your  lessons,  and  that  the  catastrophe  was 
produced  by  shame.  Be  this  as  it  may,  ask  your  own  heart,  whether 
you  have  not  been  the  whole,  sole,  and  direct  cause  of  her  destruc- 
tion. You  corrupted  her  opinions  ;  you  robbed  her  of  her  moral  and 
religious  principles  ;  you  debauched  her  mind.  But  for  you  and  your 
lessons  she  might  have  gone  through  the  world  innocently  and  happily. 

I  will  do  you  justice,  sir.  "While  you  were  at  Keswick  you  told 
your  bride  that  you  regarded  marriage  as  a  mere  ceremony,  and  would 
live  with  her  no  longer  than  you  liked  her.  I  dare  say  you  told  her 
this  before  the  ceremony,  and  that  you  persuaded  her  that  there  was 
nothing  sacred  in  the  tie.  But  that  she  should  have  considered  this 
as  the  condition  upon  which  she  was  married,  or  that  you  yourself  at 
that  time  looked  forward  to  a  breach  of  the  connexion,  I  do  not  believe. 
I  think  still  too  well  of  your  original  nature  to  believe  it.  She  trusted 
to  your  heart,  not  your  opinions.  She  relied  upon  your  generosity, 
your  affection,  your  tenderness,  your  first  love.  The,  wife  of  your 
youth  might  well  rely  upon  these,  and  with  the  more  confidence  when 
she  became  the  mother  of  your  first  children. 

No,  sir,  you  were  not  depraved  enough  to  think  you  could  ever 
desert  her  when  you  talked  of  it  as  a  possible  event ;  and  if  you  had 
not  tampered  with  your  own  heart  with  speculations  upon  such  possi- 


bilities,  and  contemplating  them  as  lawful  and  allowable,  her  confi- 
dence in  you  could  not  have  been  deceived.  That  sophistry  which 
endeavours  to  confound  the  plain  broad  distinction  between  right 
and  wrong  can  never  be  employed  innocently  or  with  impunity. 
Some  men  are  wicked  by  disposition,  others  become  so  in  their  weak- 
ness, yielding  to  temptation ;  but  you  have  corrupted  in  yourself  air" 
excellent  nature.  You  have  sought  for  temptation  and  courted  it ; 
and  have  reasoned  yourself  into  a  state  of  mind  so  pernicious  that 
your  character,  with  your  domestic  arrangements,  as  you  term  it, 
might  furnish  a  subject  for  the  drama  more  instructive,  and  scarcely 
less  painful,  than  the  detestable  story  of  the  Cenci,  and  this  has  pro- 
ceeded directly  from  your  principles.*  It  is  the  Atheist's  Tragedy. 
You  might  have  regulated  your  domestic  arrangements,  you  say, 
quite  as  conveniently  to  yourself  if  you  had  descended  to  the  base 
thoughts  of  the  vulgar.  I  suppose  this  means  that  you  might  have 
annulled  your  marriage  as  having  been  contracted  during  your 
minority.  You  say  that  your  only  real  crime  is  the  holding  opi- 
nions something  similar  to  those  which  I  once  held  respecting  the  ex- 
isting state  of  society.  That,  sir,  is  not  your  crime,  it  would  only  be 
your  error ;  your  offence  is  moral  as  well  as  political,  practical  as  well 
as  speculative.  ]S"or  were  my  opinions  ever  similar  to  yours  in  any 
other  point  than  that,  desiring,  as  I  still  desire,  a  greater  equality  ire' 
the  condition  of  men,  I  entertained  erroneous  notions  concerning  the 
nature  of  that  improvement  in  society,  and  the  means  whereby  it 
was  to  be  promoted.  Except  in  this  light,  light  and  darkness  are  not 
more  opposite  than  my  youthful  opinions  and  yours.  You  would  have 
found  me  as  strongly  opposed  in  my  youth  to  Atheism  and  immorality 
of  any  kind  as  I  am  now,  and  to  that  abominable  philosophy  whiclr' 
teaches  self-indulgence  instead  of  self-control. 

The  Christianity  which  I  recommended  to  your  consideration  is 
to  be  found  in  the  Scriptures  and  in  the  Book  of  Common  Prayer.  I 
would  fain  have  had  you  to  believe  that  there  is  judgment  after  death, 
and  to  learn,  and  understand,  and  feel  all  sins  may  be  forgiven  through 
the  merits  and  mediation  of  Jesus  Christ.  You  mistake  my  meaning 
•when  you  suppose  that  I  wished  you  to  be  afflicted  with  bodily  suf- 
fering :  but  I  repeat,  that  any  affliction  which  might  bring  you  to  a 
better  mind  would  be  a  dispensation  of  mercy.  And  here,  sir,  our 

*  Two  words  in  the  attempted  Greek  characters  of  Caroline  Bowles  are 
here  indecipherable. 


correspondence  must  end.  I  never  should  have  sought  it ;  but  having 
"been  led  into  it,  it  appeared  to  me  a  duty  to  take  that  opportunity  of 
representing  you  to  yourself  as  you  appear  to  me,  with  little  hope  in- 
deed of  producing  any  good  effect,  and  yet  not  altogether  hopeless  ;  f or 
though  you  may  go  on  with  an  unawakened  mind,  a  seared  conscience, 
and  a  hardened  heart,  there  will  be  seasons  of  misgivings,  when  that 
most  sacred  faculty  which  you  have  laboured  to  destroy  makes  itself 
felt.  At  such  times  you  may  remember  me  as  an  earnest  monitor 
whom  you  cannot  suspect  of  ill-will,  and  whom  it  is  not  in  your 
power  to  despise,  however  much  you  may  wish  to  repel  his  admoni- 
tions with  contempt. 

Believe  me,  sir,  your  sincere  well-wisher, 



November  7th,  1804. — A  certain  king  had  a  precious  cup,  giftee 
with  some  magical  property,  of  such  exceeding  value  that  he  suffered 
no  person  to  see  it,  its  loss  would  have  been  so  great  an  evil.  A  model, 
however,  was  in  his  daughter's  keeping,  and  by  winning  her  love  he 
who  coveted  the  original  obtained  sight  of  this,  which  was  doing 
much,  for  though  the  real  cup  could  not  be  stolen  nor  won  by  any 
unworthy  means  (such  was  the  spell),  it  was  attainable  by  intensity 
of  desire  and  fixedness  of  mind,  as  the  Fakeers  obtain  beatitude,  and 
Mainanduc  pretended  to  heal  diseases  at  a  distance.  Thus  far  had  I 
got  in  the  dream  when  the  child  awoke  me.  I  was  sensible  that  it 
was  a  fairy  tale,  and  yet  the  story  seemed  to  be  acting  before  me. 

About  ten  days  ago  a  very  valuable  dream  which  I  had  has  in- 
duced me  to  commence  this  record.  I  was  haunted  by  evil  spirits,  of 
whose  presence,  though  unseen,  I  was  aware.  There  were  also  dead 
bodies  near  me,  though  I  saw  them  not.  Terrified  as  I  was,  far 
beyond  any  fear  that  I  ever  experienced  in  actual  life,  still  I  reasoned 
and  insisted  to  myself  that  all  was  delirium  and  weakness  of  mind, 
and  even  sent  away  the  person  who  I  thought  was  present  with  me, 
that  1  might  be  left  alone  to  exert  myself.  "When  alone  the  actual 

*  See  p.  110  of  this  volume. 

SOUTHS  Y9  8  DREAMS.  367 

presence  of  the  tormentors  was  more  certain,  and  my  horrors  in- 
creased, till  at  length  an  arm  appeared  through  the  half-opened  door, 
or  rather  a  long  hand.  Determined  to  convince  myself  that  all  was 
unsubstantial  and  visionary,  though  I  saw  it  most  distinctly,  I  ran 
up  and  caught  it.  It  was  a  hand,  and  a  lifeless  one.  I  pulled  at  it 
with  desperate  effort,  dragged  in  a  sort  of  shapeless  body  into  the 
room,  trampled  upon  it,  crying  out  aloud  the  while  for  horror.  The 
extreme  efforts  I  made  to  call  for  help  succeeded  so  far  as  to  awake 
Edith,  who  immediately  delivered  me  from  the  most  violent  fear  that 
ever  possessed  me. 

This  is  a  valuable  dream,  for  an  old  monk  would  have  believed  all 
to  have  been  verily  what  it  appeared,  and  I  now  perfectly  understand 
by  experience  what  their  contests  with  the  devil  were. 

November  8th. — I  was  in  Bonaparte's  palace,  where  some  sort  of 
contest  was  taking  place  between  him  and  Sir  Sidney  Smith,  who 
came  to  me  for  a  knife  to  cut  something  which  prevented  him  from 
drawing  his  sword.  Bonaparte  struck  me  ;  I  had  an  axe  in  my  hand ; 
he  saw  that  I  was  half  inclined  to  cut  him  down,  and  attempted  to 
kill  me.  I  struck  him  with  the  axe,  and  brought  him  down,  and 
dragged  him  out  into  a  public  hall,  not  being  yet  dead,  and  there 
beheaded  him.  This  is  the  first  time  I  ever  killed  him  in  self-defence, 
though  I  have  more  than  once  done  it  upon  the  pure  principle  of 

November  16th. — I  saw  my  mother,  and  kissed  her,  and  wept 
upon  her.  This  often  occurs  in  my  dreams.  I  never  see  her  without 
sorrow,  the  feeling  which  predominates  whenever  I  think  of  her  still 
remaining,  even  when  death  is  forgotten,  and  her  perfect  image  living 
before  me.  Once  I  remember  the  spirits  of  my  mother  and  cousin 
entered  my  room  in  a  dream;  all  who  were  present  were  terrified; 
but  I  went  up  firmly,  with  such  feelings  as  the  reality  would  have 
produced,  and  touched  the  apparition,  and  exclaimed  "It  is  sub- 

December  7th. — I  was  sent  to  the  Court  of  Haroun  Alraschid,  God 
knows  on  what  political  errand;  but  it  was  a  very  important  one, 
and  I  carried  with  me  a  beautiful  woman,  related  to  me  Heaven 
knows  how,  who  travelled  for  security  in  boy's  clothes,  I  also  being 
dressed  meanly,  to  escape  danger.  The  Caliph  was  a  very  good- 


natured  man,  but  his  interpreters,  two  Spanish  renegades,  were  ex- 
ceedingly insolent,  so  that  I  beat  them  both  before  his  face,  not  without 
a  struggle,  and  insisted  that  some  honester  person  should  be  called — not 
rascals  who  had  renounced  their  religion,  and  who  would  falsify  what 
I  should  say,  for  the  sake  of  injuring  me.  This  was  of  consequence, 
as  I  had  to  deliver  my  fair  charge  to  the  Commander  of  the  Faithful, 
and  convince  him  that  I  had  faithfully  acquitted  myself  of  my  trust. 

Some  time  ago  I  saw  Adam — an  old  man,  half  stupefied  with  age  ; 
he  lived  in  a  little  lonely  cottage,  and  complained  to  me  that  Eve  was 
grown  old,  and  did  not  use  him  kindly — she  did  not  get  his  supper 
comfortably  for  him.  He  told  me  there  were  a  great  many  of  his 
descendants  whom  he  had  never  seen,  and  particularly  one  William 
Taylor,  of  Norwich,  who,  he  had  heard,  was  a  very  clever  fellow,  and 
he  wished  to  know  if  I  knew  him. 

January  7th,  1805. — I  was  supping  at  Garrick's  house,  and  seated 
at  his  left  hand,  at  the  top  of  the  table ;  my  memory  had  made  up  his 
face  accurately;  he  got  upon  the  table,  and  spoke  an  epilogue  of 
his  own  writing  in  the  character  of  a  cook-maid,  and  promised,  at 
Mrs.  Garrick's  desire,  to  recite  a  serious  poem  afterwards,  that  I 
might  hear  him. 

Westminster  often  makes  a  part  of  my  dreams,  which  are  always 
uncomfortable.  Either  I  have  lost  my  books,  or  have  Bible  exercise 
to  do,  and  feel  that  I  have  lost  the  knack,  or  am  conscious  that  it  is 
not  befitting  me  to  continue  at  school,  and  so  determine  to  leave  it  by 
my  own  will.  It  is  odd  enough  that  school  never  appears  to  me  as  it 
was,  with  my  contemporaries  about  me,  but  always  as  it  would  be  if 
I  were  there  now,  among  boys  all  strange  to  me.  Of  Oxford  I  never 
remember  to  have  dreamt,  so  little  has  a  college  life  entered  into  my 
being.  Of  Portugal  very  often.  The  language  of  my  dreams  is  al- 
most as  often  Portuguese  as  English. 

One  of  the  oddest  dreams  in  my  recollection  befell  me  when  a 
mere  child,  about  six  years  old,  but  it  is  as  fresh  in  my  memory  as 
if  it  were  a  last  night's  scene.  It  was  that  the  devil  came  to  pay 
Miss  Palmer  a  morning  visit  in  the  dining-room  in  Galloway's 
Buildings,  and  I  was  the  only  person  in  the  room  with  her.  There  I 
sat  trembling  upon  one  of  the  flat-bottomed  mahogany  chairs,  while 
she  was  bustling  about  in  all  the  hurry  and  delight  of  receiving 
unexpectedly  a  visit  from  a  great  person  '  Be  seated,  dear  Mr. 


Devil."  Her  smile  and  his  smirk,  and  the  villainous  nose  and 
eyes  of  old  Horny,  and  his  diabolical  tail,  are  before  my  eyes  this 

January  12th. — Caesar  in  Balliol  I  thought  was  uninhabited,  and 
going  to  ruin,  like  Pompey.  I  went  up  with  somebody  to  Lightfoot's 
rooms,  and  found  two  fellows  at  work  with  a  crucible.  I  saw  they 
were  coining,  and  one  of  them  ran  at  me  to  murder  me.  I  ran  down- 
stairs, but  found  that  at  the  bottom,  instead  of  a  door  to  get  out  at, 
there  was  the  foot  of  another  staircase,  which  would  lead  me  up 
again,  so  that  I  made  for  a  window,  and  got  out ;  the  fellow  followed, 
but  being  fairly  out,  I  contrived  to  place  myself  between  him  and  his 
haunt,  and  give  the  alarm,  so  that  in  his  turn  he  fled,  and  was 

February  5th. — Some  little  girl,  a  mere  child,  in  her  zeal  against 
the  Mass,  was  resolved  to  throw  down  the  pix  in  the  midst  of  the 
ceremony.  I  followed  her  to  protect  her ;  we  went  through  a  long, 
low  cavern,  or  vaulted  passage,  from  whence  a  flight  of  steps  led  up 
into  the  church,  and  she  made  for  the  altar,  and  took  out  the  wafer,  and 
threw  it  down.  The  church  was  very  large,  and  the  people  but  few, 
so  that  no  tumult  ensued ;  but  the  priest  immediately  seized  her,  and 
led  her  away.  By  good  fortune  this  priest  was  Wingfield — ipsissimus 
Gubby — so  I  took  him  by  the  arm,  and  engaged  him  in  conversation, 
pleading  for  the  child,  while  she  made  her  escape  along  the  same 
vault  whereby  we  had  entered. 

February  8th. — To  my  great  surprise  I  discovered  that  Edith  had  a 
former  husband  living.  He  was  either  by  birth  or  descent  a  Spaniard, 
but  in  the  English  army ;  he  had  been  dotingly  fond  of  her,  and  she 
of  him,  till  in  some  action  he  received  a  musket  ball  in  his  leg,  which 
as  long  as  it  remained  there  rendered  him  feeble,  and  he  would 
not  suffer  it  to  be  extracted,  because  some  old  woman  had  told  him 
the  operation  would  be  fatal.  Upon  this  he  abandoned  his  wife.  I 
now,  however,  understood  that  he  was  perfectly  recovered.  The  way 
by  which  I  first  learnt  all  this  was  by  seeing  a  Spanish  grammar,  so 
philosophically  and  ably  arranged,  as  to  make  me  inquire  for  the 
anonymous  author,  who  proved  to  be  this  person.  Upon  questioning 
Edith,  she  said  it  was  all  true ;  that  he  was  the  handsomest  man  she 
ever  saw,  and  had  made  her  a  very  affectionate  husband,  but  that  he 

•  2  B 


had  behaved  very  ill  in  deserting  her.  I  asked  if  I  should  write  to 
him,  or  find  him  out.  She  said  "no,"  because  she  felt  still  a  regard 
for  him  which  he  did  not  deserve.  I  now  found  some  Latin  verses 
which  he  had  written ;  they  were  upon  the  birds  in  their  brooding 
season,  and  concluded  with  a  reference  to  the  happiness  he  had  once 
enjoyed  at  Bristol,  but  which  he  had  by  his  own  folly  forfeited. 
These  I  explained  to  Edith,  saying  that  perhaps  he  was  in  want,  and 
we  ought  to  find  him  out  and  relieve  him.  But  she  still  seemed 
unwilling  to  have  any  communication  with  him,  and  I  could  perceive 
that  this  was  rather  because  she  loved  him  too  much  than  too  little. 

I  have  uniformly  in  my  dreams  fancied  that  whenever  I  attempted 
to  read,  the  page  was  blank,  or,  to  speak  more  accurately,  that  there 
were  lines  without  letters,  and  the  perplexity  occasioned  by  being 
obliged  to  divine  what  words  would  fill  up  the  due  spaces,  analogous 
to  the  feeling  perpetually  occurring  in  sleep  of  losing  one's  hat  or 
shoes  in  the  street — an  uncomfortable  and  disquieting  sense  that 
something  is  wanting,  you  cannot  tell  why.  This  impossibility  of 
reading  is  perfectly  explicable ;  the  mind  cannot  form  its  associations 
and  embody  or  print  them  co-instantaneously.  One  operation  must 
precede  the  other,  and  it  is  as  impossible  in  dreams  to  read  what  is 
passing  as  it  is  to  overtake  your  own  shadow. 

February  Wth. — I  discovered  that  King  Fernando  el  Catholico 
was  my  father,  to  my  inexpressible  grief,  and  told  my  mother,  that  of 
all  human  beings  there  was  scarcely  one  whom  I  regarded  with  more 
horror  and  hatred,  and  that  I  would  submit  to  any  torments  which 
could  purge  his  blood  out  of  my  veins. 

February  18th. — There  was  some  building  to  be  entered,  but  it 
required  faith,  and  fearlessness,  and  fortitude  to  enter  it,  for  the 
ground  before  the  entrance  was  fiery,  and  the  nearer  the  door  the 
more  intense  the  burning,  and  they  who  were  unworthy  would  be 
thrust  back  by  some  unseen  power.  What  was  within  I  knew  not ; 
but  once  in,  and  there  was  an  end  of  all  pain  or  calamity  for  ever.  I 
took  the  child,  and  being  barefooted  and  almost  naked,  went  on,  ex- 
claiming from  some  inexplicable  association  :  "  Jesus  and  St.  Ignatius 
Loyola!"  There  were  two  persons  before  me  engaged  in  the  same 
adventure,  and,  in  spite  of  the  burning  ground,  we  all  got  in.  Some 
dozen  or  score  had  succeeded  before  us,  and  as  soon  as  I  had  entered 


they  began  to  dance,  and  wanted  me  to  join,  as  if  triumphantly ;  but 
I,  who  had  the  sort  of  feeling  as  if  death  were  over,  and  I  was  now 
in  the  world  to  come,  turned  away  with  anger  at  the  proposal,  and 
began  to  examine  what  place  I  was  in.  It  was  a  huge  church  of 
white  marble,  Parian,  without  spot,  or  streak,  or  stain;  and  there 
were  seats  around  it,  rising  one  above  another,  as  in  a  theatre,  and 
the  seats  were  of  the  same  pure  white  marble  as  the  building.  I  went 
through  the  building  into  a  park,  and  here  the  connexion  ceased,  and 
the  dream  became  vague  and  worthless. 

Five  nights  ago,  at  Grasmere,  I  thought  a  fiend  and  a  good  spirit 
were  shooting  arrows  at  each  other,  many  of  which  fell  near  me,  and 
I  gathered  them,  and  endeavoured  to  shoot  at  the  fiend  also,  who  was 
very  little,  but  never  could  fit  them  to  the  bow.  The  good  spirit  at 
last  heaped  coals  and  peat  upon  the  head  of  his  enemy,  so  as  to  bury 
him  completely,  till  he,  by  the  fieryness  of  his  nature,  kindled  them, 
and  they  blazed  and  burnt,  burning  him,  who  yet  could  not  be  con- 

February  27th. — I  saw  a  man  whose  name  was  Apollonius,  who 
for  some  grievous  sin  had  received  a  grievous  punishment.  A  worm 
like  a  viper,  about  three  inches  in  length,  and  proportionately  thin, 
was  fastened  upon  one  of  the  nerves  of  a  decayed  tooth,  and  I  saw  it 
hanging  therefrom,  though  at  times  it  lay  coiled  within  the  cavity. 
The  poor  wretch  was  relating  his  sufferings  to  me  with  so  much 
contrition  and  resignation,  that  his  repentance  was  accepted,  and  the 
worm  fell  off.  It  crawled  into  a  fire,  and  here  the  dream  adapted 
itself  to  old  notions,  for  as  the  creature  entered  the  flames  it  put  out 
legs  like  a  salamander,  and  lay  parching  in  that  shape  till  it  was 
dried  up  and  consumed. 

Not  unfrequently  I  have  dreamt  of  being  among  old  graves  newly 
opened,  or  vaults,  and  the  smell  of  the  dead  has  been  particularly 
offensive ;  the  smell  has  always  resembled  the  bitter  pungency  of 
cheese  in  its  blackest  state  of  putrefaction.  This  being  uniform,  must 
depend  on  some  physical  cause. 

April  2nd.— I  thought  I  was  assisting  at  the  removal  of  my 
grandfather's  body,  with  so  much  recollection  of  place  and  persons 
that  A.shton  was  the  scene,  and  Lewis  the  clergyman  who  was  to  read 
the  funeral  service.  The  cofiin  was  of  an  odd  shape,  bearing  some 

2  B  2 


resemblance  to  a  body,  and  appeared  to  be  of  a  thin  and  yellowish 
metal ;  some  of  the  bystanders  moved  away  from  it,  but  I  observed  it 
could  not  occasion  any  offensive  smell,  as  nothing  but  bones  could 
possibly  remain  of  a  man  who  had  been  dead  above  forty  years.  But 
presently  the  coffin  moved,  and  it  was  evident  the  body  was  alive  ;  it 
was  opened,  and  after  some  struggles  the  body  threw  off  its  outer  coat 
of  skin,  and  got  up,  to  everybody's  astonishment.  I  looked  to  my 
uncle  to  see  if  it  was  really  his  father,  and  finding  this  was  the  case, 
formed  a  theory  that  we  had  hitherto  mistaken  the  nature  of  death, 
which  did  nothing  more  than  bring  man  into  a  chrysalis  state,  in 
which  he  was  to  lie  awhile,  and  then  cast  his  slough,  and  come  out 
fresh  as  a  bird  after  moulting. 

May  15th. — I  was  at  some  dramatic  representation,  which  was  en- 
acted within  a  circumvallation  of  stones,  like  a  Roman  camp,  on  which 
I  stood,  not  without  wondering  at  the  theatre ;  from  thence  I  went 
to  introduce  myself  to  George  Kose,  who  lived  in  a  very  fine  house,  and 
said  how  much  he  was  obliged  to  me  for  the  visit,  and  how  he  should 
have  been  mortified  if  I  had  gone  on  without  calling  on  him.  I  was 
somewhat  ashamed  of  my  hat  this  while,  and  endeavoured  to  hide 
the  ragged  part  of  the  lining.  "We  talked  of  Christ  Church  and  Bur- 
ton, &c.  Presently  I  was  in  my  bedroom,  as  his  guest,  with  a  sense  of 
danger.  I  thought  that,  having  dressed  under  this  apprehension,  and 
left  the  room,  I  stept  back  into  it,  for  something  which  I  had  for- 
gotten, upon  which  a  spell  took  effect,  which  would  have  been  vain 
if  I  had  not  returned  there,  and  I  became  the  prisoner  of  Mrs.  Rose, 
for  she  was  a  malignant  enchantress.  Some  dim  association  about 
young  Rose  and  Amadis  must  have  produced  this. 

Afterwards  I  found  myself  with  Edith  sitting  down  to  dinner 
with  the  prophet  Mohammed  in  some  far  country,  where  we  noticed 
with  wonder  that  the  furniture  and  food  were  both  in  the  English 
fashion.  Some  alarm  was  given,  I  know  not  what,  except  that  we 
all  were  in  danger  of  being  taken  up.  What  became  of  the  prophet  ? 
If  he  himself  cannot  tell,  nobody  else  can ;  but  I  worked  a  miracle 
like  a  Domdanielite,  pronouncing  aloud  I  remember  not  what,  with 
such  faith,  that  Edith  and  I  were  taken  up  in  the  air,  and  conveyed 

October  1st. — Here  is  a  long  gap.    During  the  whole  summer  I  have 
been  so  engaged  with  visitors  and  walking  about  the  country,  that 



having  no  Daniel  to  remember  my  dreams  for  me,  they  are  irrecover- 
ably gone. 

Last  night  I  had  met  a  Mr.  Trevilian,  a  Somersetshire  man.  I 
dreamt  that  I  was  visiting  him  in  his  own  county,  and  this  reminding 
me  of  Glastonbury,  I  thought  that  we  went  to  see  the  ruins.  But  the 
ruins  which  I  saw  in  my  dream  were  far  nobler  than  Glastonbury,  or 
probably  than  any  existing  pile.  I  thought  that,  descending  a  long 
flight  of  steps,  like  those  which  lead  from  Redcliffe  church  door,  or  in 
the  Deanery  at  Westminster,  only  that  they  were  under  the  roof  of 
the  building,  we  entered  a  prodigious  church,  deserted  and  bearing 
marks  of  decay,  though  all  its  parts  were  still  entire.  I  have  the 
picture  vividly  before  me,  the  arched  windows,  and  meeting  columns, 
the  grass  between  the  stones ;  the  sound  of  my  own  footsteps  is  still 
fresh  in  my  ears,  and  the  feeling  of  delight  and  reverence  which  made 
me  in  the  dream  stand  half-way  down  the  steps  and  shed  tears.  Pre- 
sently I  was  led  to  a  part  of  the  building  which  was  called  the  Bea- 
torio ;  the  most  extraordinary  place  I  ever  fancied.  It  was  so  called 
as  being  the  burial-place  of  the  monks,  who  were  all  presumed  to  be 
in  bliss,  and  the  whole  floor  was  covered  with  statues,  admirably 
executed  in  a  fine  white  stone,  of  these  men  rising  from  the  dead  all 
in  different  attitudes,  each  as  large  as  life,  and  each  made  to  the 
living  likeness  of  the  man  whom  it  represented.  One  side  of  this 
place  was  open  to  the  cloisters,  so  that  all  was  seen  in  a  strong  light. 
The  other  walls  were  in  like  manner  covered  with  figures  issuing 

I  now  thought  a  sort  of  Auto  of  the  Last  Judgment  was  to  be 
acted  in  the  church.  A  number  of  the  most  ill-looking  men  had  been 
got  together  to  play  the  damned,  and  express  as  much  damnation  as 
possible  in  their  looks  and  gestures  when  they  were  set  aside  after 
sentence.  The  dream  now  began  to  confound  things  :  these  persons 
seemed  to  be  really  the  damned ;  and  I,  who  did  not  quite  like  such 
company,  as  they  were  becoming  obstreperous,  rose  to  make  my  escape. 
Some  fellow  half-damned,  half-devil,  was  placed  in  the  gateway  to 
prevent  me  from  going  out ;  I  forced  my  way  by,  and  creating  wings 
with  the  effort,  fled  away.  A  long  flight  brought  me  to  the  mountains, 
and  I  awoke,  just  at  the  fit  time,  when  the  whole  dream  was  fairly 
brought  to  a  conclusion. 

October  28th. — Looking  at  the  mountains  opposite,  which  appeared 
more  rocky  and  precipitous,  a  huge  mass  of  rock  was  thrown  down  by 


some  sudden  convulsion  of  nature,  and  I  saw  falling  with  it  a  woman 
of  gigantic  size,  as  if  out  of  the  heart  of  the  cliffs,  where  she  had 
occasioned  the  earthquake. 

January  18th,  1806. — Elmsley  was  walking  with  me  in  Tindal's 
Park,  such  as  it  was  twenty  years  ago.  Over  the  stile  (which  I  re- 
member as  the  best  I  ever  crost),  and  just  by  the  pond  a  little  hole 
had  been  freshly  dug,  from  whence  we  saw  that  the  head  of  a  man 
had  been  taken  out ;  the  body  having  been  buried  upright,  and  pre- 
sently the  trunk  rose  slowly  up  in  such  a  state  as  one  sees  the  ribs  of 
a  horse  left  by  the  dogs  and  crows.  My  attention  was  taken  from  this 
ghastly  sight  by  something  more  extraordinary  :  a  figure  rose  from  the 
earth  precisely  like  Elmsley,  even  in  dress  ;  and  in  fact  he  proved  to 
be  the  real  Elmsley  who  touched  the  one  at  my  side,  and  made  him 
crumble  away. 

January  23rd. — I  was  in  Germany,  and  because  some  German 
friend  was  going  to  poison  himself,  agreed  to  poison  myself  to  keep 
him  company.  Accordingly,  in  a  large  party  I  first  drank  to  him  "  to 
our  next  meeting,"  then  let  him  put  the  poison  into  my  next  glass, 
unperceived  by  anyone.  It  was  a  brown  powder  which  by  no  means 
improved  the  wine.  Presently  we  were  both  seized  with  violent  pains 
in  the  stomach,  and  both  fell ;  I  suppose  by  the  pain  which  I  actually 
felt  that  I  must  have  been  plagued  with  flatulence  at  the  time.  We 
were  each  laid  on  a  bed  to  die  there,  and  not  one  of  the  company, 
though  they  now  knew  what  had  happened,  went  for  any  assistance  ; 
it  seemed  to  be  a  matter  of  etiquette  to  let  us  die  if  we  chose  it.  Now 
for  my  part,  though  I  was  perfectly  well  satisfied  to  go  upon  a  voyage  of 
discovery  to  the  next  world,  yet  it  certainly  would  not  have  displeased 
me  to  have  had  the  physician  sent  for.  My  pain,  however,  abated 
and  got  into  the  abdomen.  I  went  to  my  friend  and  told  him  this, 
and  that  I  suspected  the  dose  would  not  do  its  work.  He  said  he  was 
in  the  last  agonies,  and  so  should  I  be  presently  ;  but,  however,  it  all 
went  off. 

July  14th. — A  Bible  which  had  been  Chatterton's  was  in  the  posses- 
sion of  some  woman  to  whom  I  went  in  quest  of  it.  She  was  as  wicked 
a  looking  creature  as  can  well  be  imagined,  and  her  looks  did  not  belie 
her.  This  Bible  she  had  prepared  for  some  magical  purpose — I  know 
not  what — staining  every  leaf  with  the  heart's  blood  of  an  infant.  It 


was  the  Book  of  Life,  she  said,  and  every  leaf  was  to  have  a  life  in  it, 
and  she  had  not  spared  lives  to  make  it  complete.  As  soon  as  this 
was  known,  a  mob  collected,  and  to  my  great  satisfaction  determined  to 
set  fire  to  her  house,  and  burn  her  in  it  with  all  that  it  contained.  At 
first  I  felt  a  revengeful  and  righteous  pleasure  at  this,  but  the  house  stood 
in  a  narrow  street,  and  therefore  I  and  young  Shepherd,  who  was  with 
me,  thought  it  best  to  call  upon  the  commanding  officer  in  the  town 
and  inform  him  of  the  danger.  We  forced  our  way  with  much  diffi- 
culty through  the  crowd,  and  came  into  the  room  where  he  was  drink- 
ing his  wine :  he  heard  our  tale  with  the  utmost  coolness,  smiled  at 
the  alarm  we  seemed  to  be  in,  and  said  he  had  heard  it  already  and 
given  orders  accordingly.  From  hence  we  returned,  but  by  a  back- 
way  ;  and  here,  as  it  very  often  occurs  in  my  dreams,  it  seemed  as  if  I 
were  crawling  along  a  subterranean  way  where  it  was  scarcely  possible 
to  form  a  passage.  At  the  upper  end  of  this  long  vault,  which  was 
under  a  street,  and  as  rugged  as  possible,  not  being  arched,  we  found 
a  box  and  these  words  written  on  it :  "  Take  good  heed."  I  opened 
it  and  found  some  minerals  and  four  volumes  of  alchemy :  it  was  left 
there  for  some  person  who  was  attempting  the  grand  secret :  a  man 
came  for  it,  and  I  desired  him,  when  he  had  succeeded  and  could  make 
gold,  to  be  so  good  as  to  remember  me.  This  did  not  break  the  dream. 
When  we  came  out  the  house  was  on  fire,  but  I  learnt  that  the  woman 
was  not  in  it.  Once  she  had  attempted  to  run  out,  but  was  forced 
back  again  by  the  mob,  but  a  man-servant  staid  with  her  to  the  last, 
and  the  people  were  so  struck  by  his  fidelity,  that  they  suffered  them 
both  to  come  out.  The  woman  was  scorched  from  head  to  foot,  her  legs 
being  black  as  cinders,  and  in  this  state  she  was  reserved  for  justice. 

August  10th. — I  and  Mr.  Bunbury  were  in  my  room  at  dough's, 
which  then  belonged  to  him:  there  was  in  the  room  a  large  mahogany 
case  like  a  shop  counter,  which  he  opened,  and  showed  me  under  it  a 
sort  of  arch-work  of  wood  at  both  ends  and  stone  in  the  middle,  so 
secured,  that  like  the  patent  coffins,  it  could  neither  be  opened  from 
within,  nor  from  without.  Some  villain  he  said  had  murdered  a  man, 
and  made  this  place  to  hide  the  body  in,  but  he  had  arrived  in  time  to 
inclose  the  murderer  there  with  the  dead  body,  and  there,  though  this 
was  long  ago,  he  was  alive  still.  I  was  for  attempting  to  open  it,  and 
seeing  the  mystery. 

November  19th. — Walking  from  my  father's  into  High  Street,   I 


found  the  people  shutting  their  shops  because  there  was  a  great  show 
coming,  and  I  waited  to  see  it.    Presently  the  volunteers  came  one  by 
one  on  horseback,  each  wielding  his  own  particular  weapon,  which 
were  swords  of  every  possible  shape,  some  even  made  expressly  for 
back  strokes.    Everything  was  as  cheerful  as  possible  till,  on  a  sudden, 
two  women,  half  undrest,  weeping,  and  with  swollen  eyes  and  cheeks, 
brought  in  an  armed-chair,  which  they  carried  like  a  sedan,  a  dead  man 
naked.     A  ghastlier  sight  I  never  called  up  in  any  hour  of  waking 
imagination,  and  shall  not  soon  forget  the  shock  it  gave  me.     This,  it 
seemed,  was  the  corpse  of  Lord  St.  Vincent,  who   had  just   expired. 
Presently  I  found  myself  (the  French  phrase  is  philosophically  appli- 
cable to  the  change  of  place  in  dreams)  at  my  father's  again,  in  the 
back  parlour  Lord  St.  Vincent  with  me ;  for  though   he  was  dead, 
the  Devil  was  not  yet  come  for  him.     We  were  looking  out  of  the 
window  upon  some  water- works  which  he  had  made  in  his  lifetime. 
These  were  of  a  very  extraordinary  kind — a  rough  and  roaring  stream 
came  rolling  down  to  a  dam  formed  by  four  sluices  which  reached  com- 
pletely across  it.      This  stream  was  accustomed  to  carry  down  with  it 
many  things  swept  from  its  banks,  which,  of  course,  struck  the  dam ; 
immediately,  by  some  machinery,  one  of  the  four  sluices  opened  below, 
swallowed  up  the  thing  which  struck  against  it,  and  vomited  it  up  on 
the  other  side  with  prodigious  force.     Some  of  these  water- volcanoes 
opened  on  the  tops  of  the  houses,  so  that  no  place  seemed  safe  from 
their  fury.      St.  Vincent  was  about  to  open  one  just  over  my  head, 
upon  which  I  took  the  liberty  of  reminding  him  that  as  he  was  in 
momently  expectation  of  the  Devil's  coming  to  fetch  him,  he  might 
employ  his  time  better.      He  said  "  yes,"  he  felt  something  like  brim- 
stone tingling  at  his  fingers'  ends  already,  and  would  go  and  say  his 
prayers;  and  thus  my  dream  left  him  making  the  best  use  of  his  time. 
I  had  been  reading  aloud  overnight  the  opening  of  "  Kehama,"  and 
St.  Vincent  may  have  been  the  shadow  of  Arvalan;   the  dam  at  the 
water- works  was  the  mill-weir  behind  St.  James's  bath,  which  in  my 
infancy  I  saw  so  often  from  John  Ashbourne's,  and  remember  so  well, 
though  I  have  never  been  since  in  that  direction ;  and  the  housetops, 
on  which  the  sluices  vomited  up,  were  those  on  the  right  hand  of  the 
Plume  of  Feathers  over  Ewbank's  kitchen. 

December  15th. — I  was  reading  of  a  Doctor  Bocardo,  who  had  dis- 
covered a  mode  of  curing  fevers  by  putting  the  patient  into  what  he 
called  one  of  his  Burning  Hells,  which  was  a  place  heated  to  the 


greatest  degree  that  life  could  bear.      The  extreme  heat  decomposed 
the  matter  of  the  disease. 

December  1th,  1807. — Alas  !  my  dreams  are  as  good  as  Nebuchad- 
nezzar's, and  I  can  remember  them  no  better.  Last  night  all  that  I 
can  recall  to  mind  is  that  an  old  man,  I  know  not  why  or  wherefore, 
was  to  leap  from  a  precipice  as  high  as  the  summit  of  Skiddaw.  It 
was  some  religious  act,  or  voluntary  one,  for  everybody  regarded  him 
with  reverence ;  I  went  to  behold  him,  not  without  some  struggle  of 
feelings.  The  old  man  appeared  upon  the  precipice,  his  stature  seem- 
ing larger  than  life ;  he  was  in  a  full  green  habit,  not  unlike  a  friar's ; 
he  lifted  up  his  right  hand  to  heaven  and  said  something  which  we 
could  not  hear,  and  then  leaped  off.  I  saw  him  descending  in  an  up- 
right posture ;  it  was  in  a  situation  where  I  could  not  see  him  when  he 
came  to  the  ground,  and  I  hastened  away,  deafening  myself  that  I 
might  not  hear  the  fall.  Altogether  the  effect  was  very  awful,  but  1 
cannot  call  back  the  circumstances  which  sanctified  it. 

August  16th,  1808. — Last  night  I  and  the  King  of  Denmark  were 
taken  prisoners  by  Charles  XII.  of  Sweden,  I  having  been  grievously 
wounded  in  the  thigh.  He  was  determined  to  put  us  to  death,  and 
sent  for  us  into  his  chamber  to  tell  us  so.  How  it  happened  I  know 
not,  but  I  and  my  brother  of  Denmark — for  I  was  as  good  a  king  as 
himself — were  not  on  good  terms.  However,  I  helped  him  to  a  chair, 
for  he  was  desperately  hurt,  and  seated  myself.  And  then  I  gave 
Charles  what  I  really  believe  was  a  very  eloquent  philippic :  the 
murder  of  Patkul,  I  told  him,  was  the  crime  which  had  damned  him 
in  this  world  and  the  next.  I  stung  him  to  the  very  heart,  and  by 
way  of  generosity  he  told  us  he  would  put  off  our  execution  till  one 
in  the  morning,  and  we  might  go  to  bed  if  we  pleased.  I  made  answer 
that  with  that  wound  in  my  thigh  and  a  wife  and  children  in  England 
it  was  not  very  likely  I  should  go  to  sleep,  and  that  if  I  did,  I  should 
not  like  to  get  up  at  one  in  the  morning  to  be  put  to  death.  So  the 
sooner  that  business  was  performed  the  better. 

July  13th,  1818. — I  have  spent  an  hour  vexatiously  in  looking  in  vain 
for  my  dream-book,  which  I  very  foolishly  have  disused  for  many  years. 
Last  night  I  had  so  strange  a  one  that  it  renewed  in  me  the  old  desire 
of  preserving  such  things. 


I  was  with  Landor.  He  and  I  an  hundred  years  ago  had  stabbed 
a  man,  and  that  man,  by  some  art  magic,  was  laid  in  a  stone  coffin  to 
sleep  for  a  century,  at  the  end  of  which  time  we,  whether  we  liked  it 
or  not,  were  to  read  the  characters  upon  the  stone  which  covered  him, 
and  this  would  bring  him  to  life.  The  operation  of  time  had  been 
suspended  upon  us  during  the  hundred  years;  the  time  was  now  full; 
the  inscription  was  nearly  illegible;  but  I,  though  with  some  horror 
and  much  unwillingness,  could  not  help  making  out  the  word  Barabra  ; 
and  Landor,  with  equal  unwillingness,  made  out  the  rest,  the  stone 
rising  as  he  read,  and  bringing  up  the  coffin  to  a  level  with  the  ground. 
I  looked  under  the  lid  as  it  lifted  itself,  and  saw  a  pale-looking  man, 
in  a  wig  of  Charles  the  Second's  time:  he  had  a  wound  in  his  side  and 
was  waking. 

November  26th,  1818. — Every  one  knows  the  sense  of  flying  in 
dreams ;  with  me  it  requires  a  perpetual  effort  of  self-propulsion,  and 
is  accompanied  with  a  sort  of  apprehension,  upon  rising  to  any  height 
above  the  ground,  that  I  may  not  be  able  to  sustain  the  effort,  and 
may  therefore  fall.  Last  night  this  very  common  form  of  dream  was 
curiously  modified,  for  I  thought  I  was  sitting  upon  a  low  stool,  and 
made  it  fly  through  the  air  by  the  application  of